In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” Luke 1:25-34
I can’t even imagine how Mary must have felt at the time. First the angel Gabriel appears to her. While this passage does not say it, usually the first words an angel says is “do not be afraid” or “fear not”. From every indication the appearance of an angel is a freighting thing. And here is Mary, probably not a whole lot older than 16, possibly younger, maybe older. She is facing an angel sent from God.
Next she is told she will be having a son. Mary may be young but she knows she can’t possibly have a child because she is a virgin. As an aside, there is some dispute with the use of the word virgin. Some will say that the actual translation should be “a young girl”. While that might mean something in today’s culture, back then a young girl and a virgin were the same. So, we have Mary an unwed girl told she will be having a child.
Again, not much news today. There are so many unwed pregnancies that we don’t even think twice about it. But in Mary’s time this was a big deal. What God was asking her to do amounted to a death sentence? She would face being stoned for adultery. But Mary does not waver, she tells Gabriel “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Would that I could be like Mary.
Have a blessed day,
As I finally get back up and running on the internet I wanted to share an old post from Christmas past. I hope to get all comments answered over the next week as I will be taking some vacation time after Christmas.