Too many people have wrong ideas about Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was just a teenage girl betrothed to Joseph. Not a deity. Not someone to be worshipped. A quiet girl. Her deep-down reverence for God has always left me pondering my own spiritual state.
Her attitude when discovering that the Holy Spirit would conceive a child in her belly was recorded in Luke 1:29-38:
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
I think there are many lessons we can take from Mary’s story. Imagine the long journey she took to Bethlehem, then to Egypt to escape Herod after Jesus’ birth. I have to wonder if we would still retain a quiet and accepting nature after suffering so much. She honored God with her words and actions. Mary’s personality is quite the contrast to today’s culture. What happens when we get busy?
In this hectic holiday season, let us sit quietly in the manger and ponder as Mary did the holiness of God.
And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”