We don’t know much about Mary. From the history of the time we can get some idea of what she was going through when she became pregnant with Jesus. Mary was probably about 13. Her marriage was arranged and she was betrothed a 20-30 year old Joseph whom she knew from being in the same village and community. While waiting the 6-12 months until the wedding transition she was learning skills to bring to her new family’s house. She was creating linens, drying herbs, learning to cook with her mom. Part of the agreement for her to be married was that she would be a benefit to her husband’s family, a God-fearing, helpful, congenial, virgin girl. She needed to be baggage free.
Then it happened. She’s pregnant! The baggage store delivered the biggest baggage EVER! We know what happens after this – Elizabeth, Joseph, the stable, Jesus. But, what about Mary before the story we know and love? What was it about this girl? My niece is 13. I asked her how she’d react if tonight an angel came to tell her she was pregnant with Jesus.
“I’d be really scared.
“I don’t want to have a kid now.
“But, if the angel said God wanted me to have to do it, I’d do it.”
Not much different from Mary’s conversation with the angel, is it?
The angel tells her to not be afraid. He tells her that nothing is impossible with God, even for an innocent girl knowing the potential struggles ahead for her not-yet marriage. He tells her all that will be involved and how it will happen. He assures her that God has found favor in her and that she is the right one for this job. And Mary’s response, “I’m the Lord’s servant; let it be according to me as you said.”
Not much different from our conversations with God either.
God knows our hearts and meets us there. Jesus answers our hesitations before we can even acknowledge they exist. The Spirit guides our steps through the blessings and the storms. He removes our baggage. Because of Jesus, God finds favor in us.
“And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.”