Since today is Christmas, I decided to leave the amazing story of Mary till last. I also did so in order to not put Mary on a pedestal. I don’t believe she deserves one at all. She should be understood as a young girl who was faced with a dilemma and not some “prized possession.” Mary could have been any daughter of any family. What I believe is significantly different about her though, compared to most likely any of the young ladies that we know, is that she had a very unique encounter with God in a way that had never existed before – and will never exist again.
She was a young girl. Tradition says she was perhaps between the ages of 13-16 (though we really do not know for sure). There was a guy who wanted to marry her named Joseph. He was a carpenter and would be able to financially provide for this young girl. We know from tradition that she agreed to be married to him and thus they were betrothed. It must have been weird to be engaged at a young age as she was. Mary no doubt, really had no idea what she was getting herself into. All she knew was that in a short amount of time, she would be married to someone she probably had known all her life.
So an angel of the Lord comes to her and says, “Do not fear.” Right. I wonder what it would have been like for her to hear this. Here you are (13-16 years old), an angel comes to you and said, “Do not fear.” Then she is told something that must have been almost laughable to her: You will be indwelled by the Holy Spirit and you will bare a son – name Him Jesus.” Let’s just stop right there for a moment.
I am not trying to be graphic with anyone but last time I check it takes a man and a woman to conceive a child. Unless science has new ways of doing things, you need sperm and an egg. How on earth was the Holy Spirit going to indwell her? Was one of her eggs going to be used? How would the “sperm” part of Jesus really go to be added without any form of penetration? Did it just “happen” or was there a spiritual process that you and I do not know about that occurred? After she accepted her fate as this woman of choice, did it happen right away? Or was there some time before it happened? These are honest questions I would love to ask if I had the opportunity to ask them. Am I the only one who has never thought about asking these questions? I sure hope not!
After all this happens, she probably realizes that she will have to tell her parents. Can you imagine having to go home and tell your parents that you will be having a baby but you have not had sex with anyone? Could you imagine the look on their faces? If your daughter came home and told you she was pregnant but she was not raped nor did she have intercourse, how would you look at her? How would you respond? I have to imagine that is how her parents felt when she told them.
Mary was a bold young lady. She told her parents the truth, held on to the truth, and believed that since it was a gift from God, He would protect her. She could have been stoned. She could have been humiliated in her town by everyone. Labeled most likely a whore, Mary allowed the young child inside of her womb to grow. Because Mary was obedient, Jesus came into this world. Emmanuel, God with us – in the flesh. Please do not forget the most significant reason for this holiday. It is to remember the birth of a Godchild who came to save us and redeem us. He came to love us and teach us the ways of the Kingdom of God. He came to meet our needs and live among us – God will us. It truly is the best gift we can be given this year. Merry Christmas. God bless