“I am the Lord’s servant…May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38
Mary was a just a young girl when the angel, Gabriel, appeared to her in Nazareth. A virgin, betrothed to a man named Joseph, Mary found the angel’s presence puzzling and frightening. Gabriel, however, brought an important message from God, just as he had done when he appeared to Zechariah and to the prophet Daniel more than 500 years earlier. He told Mary that she had found favor with God, that she would conceive and give birth to a son called Jesus, and that her child would be the Messiah, God’s promised Savior. Mary had been chosen for one of the most important acts of obedience the Lord had ever demanded of anyone: be a mother to the very Son of God, present at His birth; yet, witness to His death.
The pains and pleasures of Mary’s motherhood can be understood by mothers everywhere. If Mary had known all she would suffer as Jesus’ mother, do you think she would have given Gabriel the same response? She simply stated, “How will this be…since I am a virgin?” The birth of Jesus to a virgin continues to be a miracle that many find hard to believe; and, by our standards today, Mary became a mother in a very unconventional way! But miracles don’t happen if impossibilities don’t happen first. Motherhood must be very precious to God.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Do you think Jesus celebrated His mom, Mary, with flowers and a card? The idea makes me smile. There are few biblical references to their personal conversations, but I often wonder what their mother-son relationship was like. What we do know, however, is that Mary was an ordinary woman who made herself available to God. Mary even wrote a song of praise, the Magnificat, glorifying God for what He was going to do for the world through her. As women ourselves, we can learn so much from her example. Where in our own lives can we step out in faith and obedience? Has God called you to do something that feels impossible, perhaps doubtful? Like we see in Mary, a person’s character is often revealed by their response to the unexpected.
Sisters, the Lord has a special place in His heart for women. He has created us with an ability to love others unselfishly and unconditionally. A woman’s heart longs to nourish and care for another’s well-being. It is a gift.
There are two people in this world who call me mom, my daughter and my son. Yesterday we spent quality time together; nothing special, nothing elaborate, but significant to our relationship. I cherish these hours of uninterrupted togetherness and I strive to make the most of every minute. But, like Mary, I understand the painful privilege of motherhood because love doesn’t come without risk.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete.” 1 John 4:16