Mary was a teenager. There was nothing remarkable about her. The first time we see her is in Luke’s Gospel when she is greeted by the angel Gabriel. To say that she was startled and taken aback would be an understatement! But Gabriel comforted her and then with a few words turned her life upside down. She was going to become a mother. She was told her child would grow up to take the throne of King David and that his kingdom would have no end. So far, so good until she learns who the baby’s father would be.
This was no ordinary conversation. Gabriel was no ordinary visitor. Her baby would not be an ordinary son. Mary, an ordinary young woman, a sinner saved by grace, was troubled and confused and afraid. She had been given the most astounding message that any woman had ever heard. She would be the mother of the Savior of the world.
She then asks a totally ordinary, but important question; “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
Gabriel answers her that she will become pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Her son would not have a human father, he would be the Son of God, the Messiah. Instantly the ordinary became extraordinary. At this moment Mary, the ordinary girl believed the word of God!
Instead of worrying about all that would change in her life, about how she was going to have to have an awkward conversation with Joseph, Mary responded with these words of faith:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled…”
Mary responded in a way that should be ordinary for God’s people. God gave direction and she responded in faithful humility. That is the way it is supposed to be. However, our church is weak today because such quick, humble obedience has become rare. Mary’s response of faith is really ordinary, it is our lack of faith that makes her faith appear extraordinary!
She did not challenge or doubt God even though what the angel told her left huge answered questions:
What will Joseph think?
What will her parents think?
How will she endure the public disgrace?
What will her future hold?
Mary believed in faith. If God called her to do something, he will make it possible for her to do what he asks!
If you and I take nothing else from this Christmas season, may it be that we follow the example of an ordinary young girl who wanted what God wanted for her life.