Updated: Jan 14
“This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about; His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a right man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But, after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save the people from their sins.” Matthew 1:18-21
It’s a scandalous story. Not at all how you would think Almighty God would send His only son into the world. But every year, as I read the account of Jesus birth in Matthew and Luke, I’m captivated by Mary. How devastating this news must have been for Mary. Just like it says in Matthew, she would be a public disgrace (verse 19). I can only imagine the state that Mary was in-not joyful about marriage and and a new baby, but afraid and confused. But God, in His sovereignty and mercy, sees Mary. God shows up and is with Mary. He sends an angel to minister to her and tells her that she is highly favored, and shares His plan with her. In her humbled state, Mary experiences a living God and learns to trust His word, as she eventually sees what God has spoken unfold before her very eyes with Immanuel. While Jesus is a story for all of mankind, “to save the people from their sin”, it is so very personal. It is a story for you, and a story for me.
This is a story about a savior who came into an imperfect situation in an imperfect world to offer hope. A Savior who ministers to each of us personally in the hard stuff, in our struggles. I see myself in Mary; the fearful, disappointed Mary. I’m the one questioning God as I watch plans I have made go down the drain. Time and time again, I learn to let go of my ideal, my dreams, but learn to lean into Jesus and trust His plan. When I need him, and humbly come to him in my time of need, is when He shines brightest in my life. That is when I most need to remember Mary’s words of faith, “May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38), and God’s words of hope “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37) . When I remember Mary, it reminds me its not about others seeing me live a perfect life, it’s about others seeing me desperately needing Jesus in the midst of a not so perfect life, and trusting Him to give me a voice to speak words of HOPE.
This piece will be for sale and displayed at Fellowship Fayetteville and Rogers for the Advent Season with the Spectra Exhibit.