Scripture & Thought
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel.”
“The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Tradition suggests that Mary was born into the home of Jewish parents. Mary’s early years most likely took place in or near the town of Nazareth, nestled in the hills of Galilee. Galilee was “up country” from Jerusalem and was largely rural. The various fishing towns along the western and northern coast of Lake Galilee attracted families that made their living either fishing or farming, or both. In any case, Mary undoubtedly grew up around hard-working and close-knit families.
Becoming pregnant out of wedlock was not what a god-fearing, simple folk expected of their children. Mary asked the angel who announced her destiny, “How can this be, since I have no husband and am still a virgin?” The answer from the angel may have been unsettling to her, but she said, Luke 1:38 –“Here am I the servant of the Lord; let it be according to your word.”
If Mary’s childhood dreams were crushed beyond recognition, she never complained. She simply accepted the fact that God had singled her out for something very uncertain but very special. She had every right to be fearful, but she never revealed her fears to anyone. Her response was, “Let it be according to your word.” End of argument, but not end of problems. Problems were only beginning for her. But her attitude? Incredible!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, the problems I faced this week were nothing compared to the problems young Mary faced. And I probably created most of my problems. She created none of hers, but they became hers nonetheless. Father, teach me that my attitude under pressure is far more important than the pressure itself. Teach me to be thankful instead of testy when things don’t go as I planned. Teach me to trust instead of complain. Teach me how to be at peace with situations that I cannot control. And help me to look to you for strength to be the person you want me to become. In the strong name of Mary’s son I pray.