The Second Sunday in Advent
Lack of Experience Mary
Lesson Verse Luke 1:26-38
The Father was preparing to send His Son into the world. His Son was to live the entire human experience, including childbirth, being born. This meant He had to chose a woman to give birth to His Son. He selected a very young woman named Mary. Mary was, as her cousin, Elizabeth said, “Blessed among all women.” While this was a tremendous honor, it didn’t mean things would be easy for Mary for some small reasons and one very, very big reason.
- Mary was very young
- Mary was unmarried
- Mary was not anyone special (or was she?)
Mary was very young
Such a very young woman to have such a large responsibility placed upon her. I would think most young women would have been out of their minds with fear when told they were carrying the Son of God. Yet Mary was such an incredible woman that she accepted the call God had place upon her with grace and tremendous faith. Elizabeth accepted her pending motherhood with grace in spite of her advanced age and Mary also accepted motherhood in spite of her young age. The Father chose a young, unmarried woman so there would be no doubt this child was a miracle.
Mary was unmarried
This is very important. In Mary’s day, women were not able to speak for themselves or defend themselves in any way. They had no rights of their own. A woman need a man to speak for her. Mary had her father however, she had recently become betrothed to Joseph. During the time of betrothal, Mary was in limbo legally. Her father was no longer able to speak for her and Joseph had no legal obligation to speak for her.
When it became known that Mary was expecting a child, by law, she would be stoned for having sex outside of marriage. Mary was in a very dangerous position. You might think God had poor timing. He should have waited until Mary and Joseph were married. Yet God’s timing is always perfect. This betrothal time is exactly when He needed events to unfold. There would always be those with questions about the father of Mary’s child. Mary, however, had no doubts and ,eventually, neither did Joseph.
Mary was not anyone special (or was she?)
I have often wondered, “why then?” Why was Jesus born at that time? There were other times in the history of Israel when things were bad, very bad both before Jesus’ time and after. What was different about that time?
While there may be many factors, I believe one of the most important is Mary. Elizabeth was right. Mary is blessed among ALL women. Mary was the one chosen, out of all the women of all time, to be the Mother of the Messiah. In Ephesians, Paul tells us that God chose us in Him before the creation of the world. Before God made anything, He knew exactly what would happen, when He would send His Son, and who was to be chosen to be His Mother.
Yes, Mary was very, very special indeed.
Faith Vs Fear
Imagine how frightening it must have been for Mary to be called to carry and give birth to the Son of God. She had to know what people were going to think. She had to know the risks involved. Yet she didn’t argue. She had complete faith in God, stepping up to accept her call without any questions or fear. Well, she did wonder how she could have a child when she had never known a man in the Biblical sense. When this was explained to her, she had no more questions. She had no fear. She was filled with tremendous faith and courage, ready to face whatever came.
Mary faced many challenges as the mother of Jesus. Years later, when Jesus was an adult, a comment is made about Him being born in Nazareth, that nothing good ever comes out of Nazareth. The people mocking Him knew the story about His birth. They knew His mother was pregnant when she got married. All her adult life, Mary probably came across people that knew her story, that talked about her behind her back. She knew the truth. Her Son knew the truth. God knew the truth. That is all that mattered to her.
We spend a lot of time worrying about what other people think about us. Mary had every reason to be concerned about the opinion of others. Their opinion could have gotten her put to death yet she stood up and told God, “Here I am!”
God called Mary to do something that she felt she was unqualified to do. Still, Mary stepped up and answered God’s call even though it might have cost her her life. God may be calling you to do something special. You might not recognize the feeling. It often comes as a restlessness, a feeling there is something you need to do but you might not be certain just what that something it. Take time to listen to God the way Mary listened to the angel.
You might understand what God is asking you to do yet you feel unable or unqualified to do the job. Would God call you if He didn’t know you were able to do what He asked? True, you might not be ready right now. When He called me to ministry, I wasn’t ready. It took years of study to prepare myself for the task at hand. The Lord provided me with everything I needed to do the job He wanted. Even today, He still provides so I am able to focus on the work ahead.
Like Mary, you must have faith that the Lord would never call you if He didn’t know you were able or would be able to do what He asked. Even if you can’t have faith in yourself right now, have faith in Him. Keep listening to His call, moving forward one step, one day at a time.
How can you have faith in God’s call when you feel unqualified?
What can you do to help increase your preparedness?