“Do you think we’ll see Messiah in our life, Abba?” The voice was from her little brother, but the words were from Mary’s heart.
“It could happen, Sol. There are rumors of an angel sighting in Jerusalem, but it’s been over four centuries since Yahweh has even spoken to us, His people. The last time I was in Jerusalem I over-heard ole Simeon tell some men that God told him that he would not die before he saw the LORD’s anointed. As old as he is I’d say it should happen any day now!” The father gave a boisterous laugh.
The voices and laughter from outside caught Sol’s attention. “May I go play now, Abba?”
“Yes, my son. Today’s lesson is complete. You may go.” He patted the boy on the head before Sol ran out.
Mary stared at her father, so he asked. “What is it, Mary. I know you have something on your heart. You always do.”
“Do you think Messiah will see us? Will He talk to us?”
“Oh, Mary, you have so much to learn. Messiah will be very busy defeating the Romans to set up His kingdom. Then the bulk of His time will be in Jerusalem. I very much doubt He’ll have any business in Nazareth.”
Mary stared out the window. “I think Messiah will be a better king if He loves His people enough to want to know them; and to want them to know Him.”
“That sounds so like my Mary. Always the dreamer. Don’t you have some place to go today?”
She looked at her father. “Yes, Jacobed promised me one of her fine blankets if I clean her house while she’s gone to buy more wool. I should be going!” Mary gathered a few things before she left.
After Mary finished cleaning the kitchen she stopped for a drink. She sat and envisioned the Messiah. She could see his strong hands picking children up to share a moment with them. Perhaps she would get a hug across her shoulders. She quickly realized that the man in her mind was none other that her own Joseph. Oh, the future that will soon be their’s! She sent up a prayer. “Can You please speed up the time?”
The sudden shadow cast on her startled her. She kept looking up until she found the eyes of the one who would give her the news that would change the course of history. Her mind was racing, “I’m a poor girl who grew up in a one room house. I know that it takes the act of a man to begin a pregnancy. How can this be?”
“The Spirit of God will overshadow you…”
“I have heard of the Spirit filling others in the past. I never imagined it could happen to me.” Her mouth spoke her heart. “Let it be to me as you have said.”
When Gabriel left she knew she had to quickly finish her task and make plans to visit Elizabeth as soon as possible.
Mary; too much has been made of her by some, not enough by others. This simple, common peasant girl from the out-of-the-way town of Nazareth. The person chosen by God to be the one whose egg would begin the incarnation of The Savior of the world. That egg would be the human aspect of Jesus; the man side of this unique God-man.
This was the second time in half a year that Gabriel was sent to announce an unexpected birth. Both recipients had a question for this angel. Both questions started with the same word, ‘How…’. After that the questions headed in opposite directions. Zacharias came into the encounter with a lifetime of disillusions and despair. He looked for some assurance that he wasn’t being the butt of some celestial prank. The angel gave him a sign alright; it wasn’t what he expected. I think Gabriel must have thought, “Just shut up old man and do as I said. You want a sign, I have your sign.” “You shall not speak until the son is born.” I’m sure that wasn’t the sign Zac was hoping for.
Mary’s question came from the hopeful, un-scarred dreams of a teenager. She had watched in the dark as her parents had intercourse in the bed across the home they lived in. Her question was totally of a practical nature. She had not been with a man in that way. She wasn’t reprimanded for her honest question. You see, Zacharias had to merely believe the miraculous, Mary was asked to believe the impossible. Gabriel assured her that the word ‘impossible’ isn’t in God’s vocabulary.
Chosen by God to carry out a special purpose. Mary must have been blessed with only good things after that. Right? Not by a long shot! The journey to visit Elizabeth would take several days and separate her from her family, the trip back would be just as difficult. She probably didn’t tell Joseph the angelic news until she returned, then she risked being stoned to death. Even if Joseph did take her as his wife she would spend the remainder of her life ostracized by the community because of the questionable circumstances surrounding this pregnancy.
We can only imagine the thoughts that went through this young couple’s minds as the first earthly breaths the Savior of the World took were mingled with the acrid odor of animal urine and feces. Their only brush with wealth came after the wise men left them the gifts, but they had to quickly use them to hastily travel to Egypt to avoid the prophetic cataclysm that awaited the children in Bethlehem.
If the Christian life was a promise of prosperity then the bandwagon would be overflowing. Reading the book of 1 Peter shows the opposite to be the reality. We should expect the same suffering as our Savior. So, who would want to be on that team? Only the chosen are tough enough for that assignment. I hope you are included among us.
I’ll see you later. Wade