She was a young woman, perhaps living with her parents, in Nazareth in Galilee. She was on the threshold of a new chapter in her life. She was espoused to a man named Joseph and so she would soon be a wife. This was the plan until she received an unexpected visitor. Not just a stranger she never laid eyes on before. Far more than that. An angel named Gabriel.
I can only imagine how terrified Mary might have been to be visited by an angel. It isn’t like she asked for the visit. Gabriel begins by telling Mary she is highly favored, the Lord is with her, and she is blessed among women. That was quite a compliment coming from an angel. Gabriel seeking perhaps to calm Mary said to her “fear not”. He didn’t come with bad news. He wasn’t there to inform her that her time on earth was up. Quite the contrary! Mary had a message from God that would change every aspect of her life. In other words, rock her world!
Gabriel told Mary she would conceive in her womb and have a son whom she was to name Jesus. Her son would be great and be called the Son of the Highest. The angel declared the Lord God would give Jesus the throne of his father David. I wonder what was going on in Mary’s mind as she heard these words. I wonder if she thought, “Is this a dream or what!” In her wildest dreams, I dare say she couldn’t have imagined that she would be the one chosen to give birth to God’s only begotten son Jesus.
By the way, Mary did have a question for the angel. It was an understandable one of how could it happen since she was a virgin. Gabriel’s explanation was the Holy Ghost would come upon her and the power of the Highest would overshadow her. She would deliver a baby who would be called the Son of God. Awesome is too weak a word to describe what the angel said. A birth like no other before or after it would take place and she would play an essential part. Her assignment from God to be the earthly mother of His Son was uniquely hers and hers alone.
Gabriel gave Mary the example of another miraculous conception. One that hit close to home. Mary’s relative Elisabeth had conceived a son in her old age and was at that time six months along in her pregnancy. Elisabeth was supposed to be barren but her husband had his own visit by an angel bringing him news of he and Elisabeth having a baby boy. Gabriel declared that nothing was impossible with God.
Then, came the moment of Mary’s response. Her answer could have been, “You’ve got the wrong person.” She could have offered suggestions of other young women who’d be better suited for the job. Maybe someone a little older or wiser or even prettier. But instead, Mary gave the “RIGHT” answer. She told Gabriel to let it be unto her according to thy word. She accepted God’s assignment on faith. She couldn’t have possibly known what it all entailed being the mother of Jesus, but whatever it was to be, let it be.
Mary’s journey began that day. It would be a long journey with unspeakable joy and horrific pain. She would watch her son grow up, observe him carry out his Father’s business, and she would stand near a cross and witness her son suffer and die for the sins of all mankind, including her own. This is just speculation on my part but I believe if Mary could be asked if she would have done it all over again, her answer would be yes.
The Holy Spirit is still in the business of convicting the hearts of God’s children. I can identify somewhat with Mary. No, I haven’t been visited by an angel that I know of. At least, not yet. But I have gotten that nudge on my heart. In fact, I felt such before I started writing this blog. I can either ignore it, argue with it, or like Mary … let it be unto me according to my Father’s will.