In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38 ESV)
The second request on my Christmas list is to trust like Mary. Can you imagine going about your day when all of a sudden someone claiming to be an angel appears, says that you are highly favored by God, you will conceive a son, He is from God, He will sit on the throne of David, will reign over Israel forever, and there will be no end to His kingdom. I would be looking around for a television camera or a group of my friends rolling on the ground laughing.
You can tell by Mary’s response she wasn’t so sure of this stranger, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” If this was going to happen, she needed a little clarification. “Gabriel, I understand what you are saying; however, I have never known a man so how can this be possible?” She was a virtuous, God-fearing, righteous woman. She just didn’t understand how this could happen to her.
Gabriel patiently helps her to understand with God nothing is impossible. Then, we see Mary’s trusting heart, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” She simply trusted the word of the Lord and submitted to God’s plan.
Mary could have taken time to explain how inconvenient this was going to be on her. She was engaged to be married, so when Joseph found out he could accuse her of being unfaithful and have her stoned to death. Intimate relations outside of marriage were strictly forbidden, so even if Joseph didn’t have her killed she would be ostracized from her community. She could wind up being a single mom trying to raise a child on her own in the poverty-stricken city of Nazareth.
Mary immediately trusted the angel once he explained God’s plan. So, this year for Christmas I want to trust like Mary. I want to trust that God’s plan for my life is what will bring Him the most glory and the most good for me. I have no idea what 2012 might hold; however, I want to trust God to meet my every need. He promised to be with me regardless of life’s circumstances. By trusting His love, I can find contentment regardless of what comes my way. For Christmas this year I want to trust like Mary.