The Mother of the Lord  first of three parts

We see her first, that little Mary (may I say little? I think she was a teenager), as a simple village girl in a poor home in an out-of-the-way place. She is bending over her work when suddenly the light changes. She raises her eyes. A dazzling stranger stands before her with a puzzling greeting. He calls her “most favored one” and tells her the Lord is with her. She is stunned. I don’t believe her thought is of herself (Who am I? or Am I ever lucky!). Mary is troubled. She discerns at once that this has to do with things infinitely larger than herself, far beyond her understanding. What can it mean?

The angel does not weigh in immediately with the stupendous message he has been sent to deliver. He first comforts her. “Don’t be afraid, Mary.” Mary. She is not a stranger to him. He is assuring her that he has the right person. He explains what she has been chosen for–to be the mother of the Son of the Most High, a king whose reign will be forever. She has one question now–not about the Most High, not about an eternal king–those are things too high for her–but motherhood is another matter. She understands motherhood, has been looking forward to it with great happiness. Her question is about that: “How can this be? I am still a virgin.” He does not really explain. He simply states a mystery: “The power of the Most High will overshadow you.” He goes on to tell her of another miraculous pregnancy, that of her old cousin Elisabeth, well past child-bearing age. “God’s promises can never fail,” he says. They won’t fail for you, Mary. Rest assured.

How will the girl respond? She is at once totally at the disposal of her Lord (she sees that the visitor is from Him). Whatever the mystery, whatever the divine reasons for choosing her, whatever the inconveniences, even disasters (broken engagement? stoning to death–the punishment of a fornicator?) which she may be required to face, her answer is unequivocal and instant: “Here I am. I am the Lord’s servant; let it be as you have told me.” Anything, Lord. We see her next with Elisabeth, who, by the manner of Mary’s greeting and by her own baby’s sudden movement in her womb, knows immediately that God has chosen Mary to be the mother of the Lord. They don’t sit down over coffee and chatter about the gynecology or the practical logistics or what people are going to say. Mary sings her song of gladness, of thoroughgoing acceptance of the gift, of trust in the Mighty One.   Elisabeth Elliot

 Luke 1:38  And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Trust God for your day, ….Today

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