Mary enters our Advent story today. She is a young virginal woman who is engaged to be married to a man named Joseph. An angel appears to her with a startling message. Luke 1:26-34
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!””
29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” 34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.
God is gracious to us in that we know the time this takes place. It is only 6 months after Zachariah was in the temple and Elizabeth conceived. The angel messenger sudden and miraculous appearance caused Mary to be afraid. That is understandable as the appearance of an angelic heavenly being was most unusual and would have been cause for fear. The angel had a special message just for Mary that was one of hope and wonder. Being a Jewish girl, she knew of the coming Messiah- the anointed holy one to come. But, she was perplexed as to how this could happen as she was pledged but unmarried and had not had relations with Joseph. Her question was one of How can this be? She was not doubting God’s ability to cause this to happen as Zachariah had in the temple. Her doubts were answered by the messenger factually as we’ll see tomorrow.
What lessons can we take away from this portion of Mary’s story? Mary was open and receptive to God’s message. She was willing to listen and desired to know more about God’s will for her life. Are you open minded towards God? Do you look expectantly for His work in your life? Unexpected things can happen to each of us and they are solely dependent upon God’s mercy and grace. We need to trust in God’s providential care just as Mary did to receive the blessings God has in store for us.
Will you look God’s hand of care in your life today and praise Him?