Unsettling. Disconcerting. Troubling. Confusing. Perplexing.
Not exactly descriptions you’d anticipate to what should have been some of the best news ever announced.
Whenever there’s a pregnancy, everyone is supposed to rejoice. The mom glows. The dad pops his buttons. Grandparents smile with swelling pride.
It’s supposed to be joyous, gleeful, merry, a reason to celebrate!
But that wasn’t the case for Mary – at least not initially.
Here’s how the angel, Gabriel, announced the news:
“Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you… You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”
Not many birth announcements come from a heavenly messenger straight from the throne room of the God of the universe.
And none had ever come to a virgin! This would be the first… and last.
And I hope Gabriel wasn’t anticipating balloons and confetti and screams of excitement and joy.
Because there’s a catch with this one. Well, maybe more than one.
Mary is engaged to be married – meaning not married yet – AND, don’t forget, she’s a virgin… and now she’s pregnant. Looks like there’s another word we can add to our descriptions: complicated.
Being pregnant while engaged would have been shameful for her, especially in her culture. To be pregnant and a virgin! Well… impossible. It’s surely not the way her mom said it would happen. Let’s add another word to our list: bewildering.
So rather than glee and excitement,
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
So, what did Mary do with this troubling and unsettling news that she was going to become the mother of the Son of God even though she was engaged to be married to Joseph AND she was a virgin?
I know it might be hard to accept, but this is what she did:
She simply trusted God.
She believed what Gabriel said… that she was favored by God… that God was with her… and that God was going to do something great through her.
I know. It seems too trite. Too simplistic. Too naïve.
But… it’s what she did. She said,
I am the Lord’s servant… May your word to me be fulfilled.”
If I may put it another way: “Lord, I’m yours. I’m here to serve you, no matter what. I’m available for you to fulfill your purposes through me.”
Mary believed that God could be trusted and that He was up to something and that what He was up to was good.
When days are dark and troubling and confusing, make Mary’s choice. Trust that God is up to something good.
You might be feeling a little unsettled now.
It could be an uncertain future. Or a relationship. Or your job. Or your finances.
It could be your kids. Your health… Face it. It could be anything.
If so, make Mary’s choice. Remember that God loves you, that He’s walking with you, that He will never leave you, that He won’t turn His back on you, that He won’t forget you, and that He wants to fulfill His purposes in you and through you.
You might have trouble seeing it when life is dark. You might not be able to see it when life is confusing and perplexing and bewildering. But God is at work. He’s doing a work IN you and He’s doing a work THROUGH you.
Because Mary made the choice to trust God, He used her to bring Jesus, the Savior of the world, into the world. And because of that, we all have hope!
Come celebrate that hope with us at one of our Christmas services, either in-person or online.