Have you ever wondered what preparing for Jesus’ birth must have been like for Mary? Was she excited? Was she afraid? How did her family and friends react and relate to her? How did she make it through those nine months after the angel Gabriel told her she was going to be the mother of God’s Son? Pregnancy is challenging enough. Knowing that she was carrying God’s Son must have been almost overwhelming.
Luke records Gabriel’s appearance to Mary.
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on 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. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Luke 1:26-38 (NIV)
Notice how Mary responds in verse 38. “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” Mary trusted God. That’s it. Nothing complicated. Just simple faith in God. God is God and I am not. He knows what He’s doing, so I’m going to trust Him. I don’t understand everything He’s telling me (verse 34), but that’s not going to stop me from believing. If you were to trace Mary’s life through the rest of the Gospel narratives, you’d find that she never lost that simple faith in God.
We worship the same God Mary worshiped. His word to us is just as reliable as His word to her. Though our circumstances differ, we would be well-served to follow Mary’s example of trust in God. “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Reflection and Discussion
- What do you think might have gone through Mary’s mind in the days and weeks after her encounter with Gabriel?
- Do you think that faith in God is naïve in light of the complexities of the modern world? Why or why not?
You created us. You provide for all of our needs. Yet sometimes we fail to trust You. While we might acknowledge that You know what You’re doing and we don’t, we don’t always live like it. Please forgive us for not consistently trusting You, and please help us to follow Mary’s example of simple faith no matter how challenging our circumstances may seem.