In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High…”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God… For nothing is impossible with God.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.”
A young girl from a little town in a rural area. An angel. A declaration. A ‘yes’ from quivering lips.
I am completely amazed by Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel when he comes to tell her that she will carry the Son of God: Yes, she says. “May it be to me as you have said.”
I just don’t know if my answer would have been as gracious as hers. I imagine myself to be saying something like this instead:
“Me? Carry a baby? Before I’m married? What?!?”
To think that God chose a young girl, an unmarried young girl to be the mother of the Saviour of the world blows my mind. As you know, in those times, a young woman could be stoned for being found pregnant outside of marriage. She would have been disgraced. She would have been rejected. And God, knowing this, chose to bring his Son into the world in this way.
God is definitely an out-of-the-box thinker.
And Mary, knowing that she may face disgrace and rejection from those closest to her, as well as her entire community, said ‘yes’ anyway.
What has God asked of you lately? Was your answer as gracious as Mary’s? Or did you immediately reject it as a crazy suggestion (You want me to do what, God?) ? Or did you feel fear at the possibility of rejection by others? Perhaps when we feel that nudge to do something for God, we can remember Mary’s words, and her attitude. Her desire to be used by God for His own purposes trumped her fear of what was to come.
Father, forgive us, for our lack of vision, for our lack of understanding. Let us be as Mary: willing to do what you ask, no matter the cost to ourselves. For your purposes are greater than our understanding. You simply desire that we say ‘yes’ to you.