O Come, Let Us Adore Him – Advent Day 12 – An Angel Visits Mary
The angel went to a virgin promised in marriage to a descendant of David named Joseph. The virgin’s name was Mary. When the angel entered her home, he greeted her and said, “You are favored by the Lord! The Lord is with you.” She was startled by what the angel said and tried to figure out what this greeting meant. The angel told her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. You will become pregnant, give birth to a son, and name him Jesus.” (Luke 1:27-31, GW)
Mary was likely around age 14 when she received this angelic visit. This tells us a lot about her character; when I was her age, I certainly was not wise enough to handle news like that. We know she was a young woman who found favor with the Lord, being the chosen vessel to carry the body of Emmanuel (“God with us”) within her womb. God’s Son would be tucked safely inside this young woman, but many hardships would lie ahead for her. Who would believe her story? How would people look on her character when they found out she was pregnant? What would Joseph, her fiancé, have to say about it all?
Before we go any further today, we need to stop for a moment and remember this simple truth: Mary was human. She was not divine, but was a humble and godly young woman chosen to mother the very Son of God. What would transpire in the coming months would not be of her own doing. The angel told her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and place the child within her while still remaining a virgin. The miracle of Mary’s conceiving wasn’t about her; it was always about God.
I think one of the most remarkable things about this conversation between the angel and Mary is her lack of questions. Sure, she asked how this could be possible, her being a virgin, but when the “how” was explained, she simply accepted this news without needing further answers. I know if it had been me, I would have asked question after question and then worried about all that lay ahead. Perhaps her ability to receive this news with faithful acceptance was part of what God saw in her to specifically choose her for the task ahead.
What might God be asking you to do today? None of us has been tasked with parenting the Son of God, but all of us have received difficult requests that required faith and wisdom in order to obediently follow His promptings. What do we do with those whispers from the Lord? So often I find myself dismissing them, thinking they are impossibilities for me. And other times I find myself questioning Him over the work He seems to set before me. I ask, “Why, Lord? Why must this be my calling in life? Can You not choose someone else?” Oh, for us to have the simple obedience of Mary, and to humbly surrender to whatever He calls us to with a gracious and trusting acceptance.
Because of Mary’s surrender, she experienced one of the greatest miracles ever known to mankind; she was chosen to be the mother of the Christ-child. Her womb would hold the precious Son of God who was sent to save people from their sin—even Mary’s own sin. Her arms would be filled with a baby who would change the course of the world forever. Her Son would be called the King of all kings. Her heart would swell in love as first she would know Him as her Son, and then one day as her Savior. And through Him, all the wrongs and all the brokenness caused by sin would one day be put away forever, all because God sent His Son through this humble woman. Mary’s story is remarkable, yes, but the bigger story is that God willingly sent His Son to redeem us. Let’s not ever forget the truth of this amazing miracle!