Luke 1: 26-38 (NIV)
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 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, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
How will this be," Mary asked the angel,
"since I am a virgin?"
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God."
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
Every time I read this story, I am amazed at Mary’s faithful answer, “May it be to me as you have said.” I can’t help but wonder if my faith would be as strong as Mary’s.
We always compound the question by saying that Mary was so young when this happened, but the truth is that Mary was, in her culture, a grown woman. A woman ready for marriage and motherhood.
Though it may be inconceivable to us, it was the social norm for Mary’s culture.
Therefore, we cannot multiply her extraordinary faith based on her age. If this is true, I suppose we can place less value on Mary’s faithful reaction to God’s plan.
Not so! Whatever the age, whatever the social norm, any woman is told she will be bearing a child, though she is a virgin, would rightfully respond with fear and panic. Instead, dear Mary trusted fully in God to take care of her and to use her for a great purpose. This year, I will pray for the faith Mary had in our Mighty God!
Pray: God, give me strength to trust you more. Amen.