A young girl of thirteen or so, was about her daily chores, when suddenly an angel appeared out of nowhere and began to give her the most astonishing news. Sounds like a story line for a science fiction novel or movie. It was actually an out of this world experience for this young woman. It also turned out to be one of the most amazing events in history – an event which would change the world forever.
What would happen today if a young woman said she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit of God? Certainly no one would believe her. She was simply trying to cover up an indiscretion by telling an unbelievable lie. They’d probably have her treated by a psychiatrist. What would her future groom say? He’d know that he had nothing to do with this pregnancy and would most likely end the engagement. What would her family think? What would the community say? Would the girl consider abortion or adoption?
Mary accepted God’s plan for her, without question. Surely the intense situation of having an angel drop in on you unexpectedly, would be cause enough to take note of what was being said. That angel brought incomprehensible news, but Mary’s faith was strong. Gabriel told her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and she would conceive a child. That child would be the Son of God.
This immaculate conception was the only one ever recorded in the annals of history and yet we find it hard to believe. We think we know better. How could this biologically happen? Yet Mary knew that the breath of heaven – the Holy Spirit – is part of the trinity of God. All three persons of the Godhead were present in that incident.
When we try to figure out the virgin birth, there is no logic – simply faith. Mary had a childlike faith because she grew up hearing that the promised Messiah would come some day. She certainly didn’t expect it to happen in such an unusual way, but her faith allowed her to accept it as God’s will. She would be the vessel for the One who would come to save the world from their sins.
Mary didn’t simply accept God’s will, but her heart was filled with gratitude as she spoke these words:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
She was just an ordinary young woman. She had no worldly status. She was still a child herself. She knew that God had blessed her, yet she knew she would also face persecution because of her condition. She would later feel the pangs of sadness and wonder as her Son suffered and died for the sins of all. Yet she pondered all these things tightly in her heart.
God uses the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary. God uses us this way as well. Are you ready?