OK, so I know it isn’t Christmas time yet. We haven’t even gotten to Halloween, but I was so excited when I started reading through the gospel of Luke again and came to the famous announcement of Jesus birth, that I couldn’t help but write about it. Most of us just see this passage as a nice, yet amazing story of an angel appearing to a young girl and telling her she was going to get pregnant. We read the story then turn the page or pages until we get to something that really applies to our lives – today, in the 21st century. But that is what was so exciting as I read this. This story has an important lesson and application to our lives now. Let’s look at this passage found in the first chapter.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her… And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Here’s the thing I want you to see. Mary’s faith was simple, child-like. Even though she knew that what the angel was saying was impossible, unprecedented and troubling, still she accepted it as a matter of certainty. Her question wasn’t “how can this be possible?” but instead, “how WILL this be?” Mary accepted what would happen; she just didn’t understand the mechanism of God’s actions. She didn’t object, she asked for clarification. If God has a plan, then He must have a way of accomplishing His plan. For me this was so encouraging, because it is so easy to get lost in all the reasons why what God says cannot possibly happen – especially in my life – that we get bogged down and lose heart. Mary didn’t lose heart; she looked for God’s way. Normally, I can overcomplicate and analyze everything into extinction and leave no room for God to wiggle into my intellectual tangle. But Mary’s story reminded me to stop and let God be God. Let Him do the impossible. Let Him overshadow me with His glory and power so that HIS life will be formed within my spirit. Let him come into my life in a way that I didn’t, couldn’t expect. Imagine what could happen when we say “OK” to God like Mary did. It boggles my mind.
God has spoken. He has promised to enter into our lives, to transform our lives. Let us be child-like, “Mary-like” and believe “…that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken…”