What promises have been made to you in your lifetime?
If you are like me… many. Some were kept, some were broken, but many were made.
Now, what if the promise was something that was so outrageous you thought, “There is just NO WAY that can happen?”
For a young girl named Mary, her situation seemed pretty unbelievable. Yet the promise of the Messiah – THE Promise of the ages – was about to come to pass, and she had gotten the message from an angel that she had been chosen to be the vessel by which the Messiah would enter the world.
She… a teenage virgin.
Mary had made the choice to remain pure, and this was the ultimate reward. The prophesy stated that the Messiah would be born to a virgin, and her decision to remain sexually pure made her a candidate. And while some of her other qualifications (being born of the line of David, etc) were things beyond her control, the choice to remain a virgin was uniquely hers.
Now, being the earthly mother to the Son of God would not be without challenges, many of which were probably not apparent at the time to this teenage girl. But in the months and years to come, she would suffer the ridicule of being pregnant as a teen, have to make the 60 mile journey to Bethlehem, give birth in a stable, then have to flee to Egypt to protect her child from the blind rage of Herod. Furthermore, it is fairly apparent from history that Joseph died, leaving Mary to care for their family. Then add to that the fact that Mary had to stand by and watch helplessly as her Son was beaten, tortured, and crucified. Honestly, I don’t know how many of us could stand that kind of grief.
Yet, Mary never wavered from her original assessment — the words she spoke to the angel when he first delivered the joyous news…
Be it unto me according to your word.
Some would argue that some of our liturgical friends have “made too much” of Mary. Well, if this is true, I would venture to say that the evangelical church has made too little of her. We find in Mary a woman of amazing resolve and grace, a servant -hero of the faith.
Throughout December, I will be preaching a series entitled, “What Child Is This?” This week (8th), I will be talking about Mary… who she was, what she did, and what she means to us as 21st century believers… On Mary’s Lap.
I hope you will join me, in person or online.