i am grateful to Lisa Andrews for her insight and vulnerability in what she shares with us today.
Mary, mother of Jesus. Mary, single gal, engaged to a great guy has an unexpected visit. An angel tells her of a miracle which will be done through her that is beyond comprehension. What good news! She believes, God is faithful, and so it is done.
It stands to be repeated: Mary, single lady. I have never actually glanced at the birth of Christ through this lense before, but as a 27-year-old single female who still considers marriage as a probability in my life, this brings the story into shocking reality. Consider the scandal. Do you know any single mothers? Have you heard of any children who were unplanned, unexpected, a surprise? That is the story of Mary. Luckily, the Lord interceded and promised Joseph that He was going to fulfill His great promise through this baby, but imagine being Joseph. You meet a nice girl, get betrothed, great! Then… your fiance is pregnant. You know it’s not YOUR baby. And then she’s telling you this kid is a gift from God and will save the world. Not only has she gone and messed around with someone else and gotten pregnant, she’s obviously CRAZY. You just don’t make claims like that.
Don’t you think God knew about the cultural stigma around this set up? But we see that it didn’t stop Him from working it for His will. God had a purpose for her, and He used His own time and method to accomplish what He wanted to get done.
But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
It would have been more acceptable at the time (and, heck, even now) for Mary and Joseph to be safely wed for God to give Mary the gift of Jesus. But His timing was specific, planned, and purposeful. What a miracle that God used a very scandalous situation to send His son into the world. Before the journey to Bethlehem, before the manger, before the world’s least expected birthday visitors, God’s plan started with a nice single girl who probably (like most single girls do) thought her life would finally have purpose through marriage. Surprise!
This points the finger at us. God doesn’t wait for us to be ready, if He did most things would never happen! We just won’t be ready, even when we do feel prepared there’s often so much we look back on and realize we didn’t have even in our most confident moments. Society tends to create a false sense of comfort by making plans and lists, keeping an organized schedule and following the logical path to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. When God enters the picture, good luck! The birth of Christ is no exception!
While we cannot expect and plan for what the Lord will do through us, we can constantly ready our hearts and our spirits for the call! We must tune our hearts to sing God’s grace. In doing so, we acknowledge that we may not be prepared or have accomplished what we had hoped, but no task is too big or too small if God asks us to give ourselves wholly unto it in pursuit of His glory. We, like Mary, can say “yes” to God even in the most unlikely situations and have courage and the faith that God will fulfill His promises.
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.