In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, 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 conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him 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 Jacob’s descendants 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 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. 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. For no word from God will ever fail.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
My husband and I have had the joy of watching our daughters mature and grow-up. We stood back and watched as they met and fell in love with two amazing young men, whom we are proud to embrace as sons in law. I remember the excitement leading up to their weddings. The nerves and the preparation…the anticipation of it all could almost be felt in the air. For a while we all balanced on a very thin line of emotion between excitement and all out panic.
I imagine this is where Mary was hanging out when she was visited by the angel. Here was a young girl, much like my own, preparing for her wedding day with all the nerves and excitement – when things took an unexpected turn. In all honesty, if I were in Mary’s shoes and an angel brought me news that I was going to have a baby, and I was still a virgin, and my husband to be wasn’t the father…well, that thin line I mentioned earlier – I think I would have fallen straight off of it, landing with a resounding thud in a puddle of fear.
But Mary’s heart was in such a place of love and obedience to God that she responded in a most humble way. She simply said, “yes,” and then she submitted her whole life to what God would do through her.
Mary’s “yes” thousands of years ago made such an impact, that we still talk about her faithfulness to the life God called her to today. She is forever part of the story of the love God has for us and the gift of His only Son, given so freely so that we could be reconciled to Him.