reflection on mary
Submitted by Kathy Nolt, Financial Manager, TTWM
As we celebrate Christmas, one can reflect on the various characters in the story of our Savior’s birth. Probably one of the first characters one may reflect on is Mary – the unassuming girl from Nazareth (a city never before mentioned in the scriptures).
We marvel at her obedience to the announcement from the angel, Gabriel,
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.
But let’s zoom out and see what nuggets we can glean from Mary:
Mary was betrothed to Joseph. Like many other young ladies in her village, Mary was on the path of marriage and family until God interrupted her and made a twist in her otherwise planned journey.
We need to hold loosely to our plans, our journey in case God wants to interrupt them. May our hearts be open to recognize God’s interruptions and/or twists along our journey.
Mary considers who God says she is. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting it was.” (Luke 1:28-29) When Mary first heard these wonderful words spoken about her, she was troubled – she probably never heard such things spoken about her before. But she didn’t reject God’s truth, she considered (contemplated; thought about) them.
We too need to “consider” or contemplate on God’s truth of who we are. May our hearts be open to new revelations of God’s truth of who we are in Christ.
Mary questions Gabriel. Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34) This was not the language of distrust, or doubt but a desire to be further instructed. She didn’t ask for a sign like Zacharias did earlier (see Luke 1:18). And unlike Zacharias she was not rebuked for unbelief. The angel simply answered her. And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, the Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
Though we may question God, may our questions be full of faith rather than doubt and fear.
Mary and her “then”. There are two “then” moments in Mary’s story. “Then” expresses something “after that” or “afterward”. We really don’t know how much time elapsed before each of the “then”. I wonder if scriptures such as Proverbs 3:5-16 (Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your path straight) ran through her head.
We should embrace the time before the “then”. These can be times of contemplation, of building up faith, of dying to self. The key is to move to the “then” and step into what God is calling us to do – even if there is a twist in our journey.