They say she’s pregnant. Everybody is spreading the rumors. Oh. She’s engaged to that guy named Joseph. She says she’s a virgin. But she can’t prove it. I bet her parents are mortified. She should be so ashamed. I wonder what will happen now. He doesn’t have to marry her if the baby isn’t his. Rightly so.
She’s so young. So much to learn about life. and love. How will she manage if Joseph pushes her aside. Quietly divorces her. She would be a single mother. Shunned for sure.
But that angel. Gabriel. He said this baby was God’s son. He said she was honored and chosen. She was favored among women. So why do the neighbors look at her so shamefully. She has nothing to be ashamed of. and no way to prove it.
How do you stand up for the truth when it looks like you’re not being honest? How could you be favored and forsaken at the same time?
She left home to visit her cousin Elizabeth. The angel who visited Mary had told her that Elizabeth was also having a baby. That same angel had also visited Elizabeth’s husband six months earlier. Now Elizabeth was also pregnant. Elizabeth was considered too old to have children and Mary was too young. But they were both miraculously pregnant, and their sons were God’s chosen to spread the good news. God planned each of these pregnancies. God chose the names of these two baby boys. Elizabeth’s son was John. Mary’s son was Jesus. John’s purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus. Jesus’ purpose was to die for our sins.
Mary could have withdrawn in fear. But instead she visited her cousin who immediately recognized she was carrying the Son of God. She could have felt rejected by man. But instead she rejoiced at the favor God had shown her.
Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Luke 1:30
Did Mary realize how much love her Heavenly Father had for her? Did she realize that when she was weak, he would make her strong. Did she know that He would fill her with his power to raise this God child? Did she know that He would comfort her years later when she walked through the storm of losing this firstborn son.
After all, her son was the hope of the world. He was the promised Messiah. Gabriel told Mary that the word of God will not fail. She believed him. She trusted him. She was all in. Regardless of the consequences. If she had known then what she later learned in life, would she have been so willing? Would she have felt so favored? Would she have called herself blessed among women?
Mary could have refused, but she willingly accepted the gift she was offered. She didn’t even hesitate. She felt honored and blessed to be chosen to carry the Son of God.
I think of the gifts I’ve been given by my God. I am called to use my gifts. Do I feel honored and chosen for the gifts I’m given? After all, I’m not asked to bear the Son of God. Why do my gifts feel so heavy at times? Is that how Mary felt? Did her load become more than she could bear?
The thing is. Mary was favored, but her life wasn’t easy or pain free. God didn’t leave her once she was pregnant. He stayed with her and walked with her through the path of motherhood and life. He empowered her and equipped her to do the work he laid out for her. Why wouldn’t he do the same for me?