Whenever I read the Christmas story, it never fails to bring a new dimension to my mind. Most everyone knows the stories that are told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke of how the birth of our Savior came to be. It is easy just to brush over the familiar and accept the story, but it is a very human story. I sometimes try to imagine how Mary must have felt when the angel appeared to her and said, “Greetings favored woman! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28NLT).
The scripture tells us of the reactions of those who had been approached by angels, they fainted or were greatly afraid. The overwhelming presence of a Holy Angel is nothing to mock, but Mary was not afraid. The scripture says, “She was confused and disturbed by the angels greeting” (Luke 1:29 NLT). This tells us a great deal about her character, first she was humble and meek. It is not an everyday occurrence to be approached by an angel, but she was continuously aware of the presence of God.
Her only question to the angel was “How can this be, I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:35 NLT). She was fully aware of how children are conceived and knew that she was not yet married to Joseph. The angel explained that this child would not be conceived in the natural way, but supernaturally(Luke 1:35). Once she learned that God would cause her to become pregnant in his special way she agreed to the assignment(Luke 1:38).
What I find interesting is the Lord asked permission. He did not take her by force or make her feel guilty, but proposed his plan and waited for her response. This is the same way the Lord approaches us today. Even though we may be confused or disturbed, we must understand that we have a choice. The real question is; do we trust him?
No one can ever know the thoughts that went through her head in those first few moments, but we can try to imagine. I am sure she never thought of the ridicule and torture her son would suffer as the Lamb of God. I don’t believe that she considered the gossip of the town’s people once they learned of her untimely pregnancy or the heartache that Joseph would suffer thinking that she had betrayed her vow to him. Mary just trusted the Lord with the outcome.
If we truly love the Lord and are devoted to serving him, we will not stop to consider any of the extenuating circumstances of accepting his call. That is where faith and life truly begin. If we continually stop to count the cost of following Jesus, we will not be of any service to him.
Are you on board? Can you say to the Lord without reservation, “Not my will but yours be done!” That was the heart of Mary; she had the heart of a servant!
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