It is hard to imagine what it must have been like for the young Mary as the angel Gabriel visited her with supernatural news. Who could blame her for being troubled, confused and anxious that she would give birth to the “Son of the Most High”, not to mention that an angel gave the news?! But Mary’s response is the response of remarkable faith and trust. She didn’t understand all that was happening, yet she committed herself to trust in the Lord.
Yes, Luke makes it clear that Mary was a virgin. So how could she be pregnant (a reasonable question with which even Mary struggled)? Modern minds may say it is impossible. But it is important for us to hear Gabriel’s message again: “Nothing is impossible with God.” The One who created everything out of nothing - including the process of conception and birth - surely possesses the power to suspend the natural process to provide a miraculous conception. An amazing miracle indeed, but it would just be the first of many miracles demonstrated in Jesus’ life.
The favor and grace of God is so clear in the passage today. Through His grace, God grants his favor to Mary by choosing her to be the mother of Jesus. But He had already been working to grace her by giving her a cousin who was just a little further along with her own version of a miracle child. Isn’t that just like God to give us others who can share in our joys, struggles, celebrations and fears?
Luke 1:46-55, referred to as the Magnificat, contains Mary’s prayer of praise and adoration to her Lord. It is prayer that we too should offer to the Lord – expressing our joy, our gratitude, our praise to a merciful, powerful and holy God.