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.
Everyone has their own nativity story and because we may have heard it so many times we often think there is nothing more to know or gain. Yet Mary’s faith continues to overwhelm me, an ordinary girl with an extraordinary faith.
Can you IMAGINE the astonishment of being told you were to bear a child despite being a virgin, and not only that but the child would be ‘the Son of the Most High’. What a test of faith! There would have been a large amount of gossip and speculation surrounding it all: How could a virgin give birth? Surely she’s been unfaithful?… Yet despite being young and in-experienced God chose Mary and Joseph because He never gives His children more than they can handle.
Apart from the question of ‘how?’ Mary trusted and believed that God was in control and obeyed his command. ‘Let it be to me, according to Your word’
There are many other biblical heroes i can think of who weren’t so willing to listen to Gods instruction….When Moses heard God calling in the burning bush he conjured up every possible excuse, when Jonah was asked to go to Ninevah he ran as far as he could in the opposite direction, when Gideon was asked to lead his people to freedom he asked for sign after sign after sign. The Bible too speaks of three cases of childbirth’s when all parents had their doubts and they all wanted proof. Sarah burst out laughing at the very idea of giving birth to a son!
I would like to think i’d respond with a faith like Mary’s but i think my natural instinct would be to doubt largely! But thats why God chose Mary instead of me, of course Mary had doubts but she trusted in a greater strength who works eveything together for the good of those who love Him.
May we have a God sized faith this Christmas. There is nothing too big to handle, no news too great because God is with us….he has planned the future!