Imagine being a young girl… a young girl engaged to be married. You are a God-fearer, a person who knows what the Book of the Law and the Prophets says about a promised Messiah. You, like all those in Israel, eagerly await Him.
Then, one day — literally out of the blue — an angel appears to you. His greeting is strange. Other-worldly. He calls you “highly favored” and says that “the Lord is with you.” You are troubled by his words — and rightly so! It’s not every day an angel comes to visit!
The angel reassures you to not be afraid. Easy for him to say! He emphasizes this by saying that “you have found favor with God.” And then he drops a bombshell: he says that you, young Mary, are going to have a baby… and you will name Him Jesus… and “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High... His kingdom will never end.”
You may have been fearful before, but now add to that being totally confused. You and your fiancé have never had sexual relations… so how can you possibly have a baby?!?
And then you learn that God Himself will be the Father.
I don’t know about you, but I would’ve wondered if the angel was talking to the right person! Why me, I’d ask?!? Are you SURE God doesn’t have someone else in mind??
“Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song)” by Amy Grant is a hauntingly beautiful song that is the songwriter’s attempt to convey what may have gone through this young girl’s mind and heart as she grappled with the incredible news that God had chosen HER to carry His Son, to be the human conduit to bring the Christ Child into the world.
I am waiting in a silent prayer I am frightened by the load I bear In a world as cold as stone Must I walk this path alone? Be with me now, be with me now Do You wonder as You watch my face If a wiser one should have had my place? But I offer all I am For the mercy of Your plan Help me be strong Help me be Help me
“I offer all I am for the mercy of Your plan.”
Mary’s response to the angel was
I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.Luke 1: 38
I wonder how different my life would be if I approached each day, each moment of the day with the same attitude as this young girl? If my focus was always that of being a servant… of being at the mercy of GOD’s plans, not insisting on mine? And especially at this time of year, when the busyness of the Christmas season can rob us of focusing on WHY we’re celebrating, how having an attitude of offering myself for others instead of being preoccupied with my own needs would impact those I rub shoulders with?
Wherever each of us may be in understanding and embracing the significance of this event — of the Christ Child being born into our world — may we continue to come alongside one another so that together we may have joy in the journey of this thing called “Life!”