[reprinted from December 17, 2009]
Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virginâ€™s name was Mary. Having come in, the angel said to her, â€œRejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!â€
But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be. The angel said to her, â€œDonâ€™t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call his name â€˜Jesus.â€™ He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom.â€
Mary said to the angel, â€œHow can this be, seeing I am a virgin?â€
The angel answered her, â€œThe Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God. Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For everything spoken by God is possible.â€
Mary said, â€œBehold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word.â€Â Â Â Luke 1:26-39 (WEB)
We often read this passage with joy. We smile and think of a young girl who has been chosen by God for what could arguably be the greatest â€˜callâ€™ ever given by God. And she, Mary, bows her head and says, â€œYes.â€ It would be foolish and very short-sighted if we didnâ€™t read at least the entire gospel of Luke, with special attention to chapters 2, 23, and 24. Mary was there in that cold barn giving birth to Jesus and she was there on Calvary watching Him die.
Mary showed us that yes, we are to respond obediently to Godâ€™s call. She also showed us that He will supply all of our needs for that call… including courage and strength for whatever comes on our journey in that call. Mary showed us that we can ask questions, even obvious questions. Donâ€™t be surprised if Godâ€™s answer may stretch our faith!
The angel, Godâ€™s messenger, gave more than the message. He answered questions. He gave a testimony that Mary would understand and receive. He told her that her cousin, Elizabeth, had received a miracle. It made his next sentence â€œFor everything spoken by God is possible.â€ actually believable to Mary. Thatâ€™s what testimonies do.
Take time today and read Maryâ€™s prayer in verses 46-55. Read it in your own Bible that you are familiar and then read it in The Living Bible or The Message. Allow it to come in your heart as a testimony â€œFor everything spoken by God is possible.â€