She was single, virtuous, and engaged to be married soon. Her thoughts
continually gave way to being a wife and someday a mother. One particular day, she was approached by an angel who said these words to her, “Mary, you are highly favored and the Lord is with you.” What did he mean by those words? She had an immediate sense of fear, a fear of unknowing. The angel said, “Do not be afraid. You have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you will give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end” [Luke 1:26-38]. Questions loomed and surged in her heart that form a question, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and overshadow her.
She ponders deeply this transaction of words. “The angel says I am favored and God is with me.” “I am engaged to be married.” “What will Joseph do with me now?”
Then the angel tells her that her cousin, Elizabeth who is old and barren, is already in her sixth month with child! How can this be? The angel states that nothing is impossible with God.
“I must tell Elizabeth my news,” Mary says. She excitedly runs to the home of Elizabeth. As soon as Mary greets Elizabeth, the baby leaps inside Elizabeth and she is immediately filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth is so excited that she tells Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” [Luke 1:39-45]. When Mary heard those words from Elizabeth, the reality of the announcement was confirmed. Elizabeth and Mary buzzed with excitement about the miracles that were growing inside of them and talked for hours about what the angel had said to both of them. Mary recites a song that praises God’s favor on her and her people, and the special favor given to her. Mary is so aware that her child will fulfill the covenant promises to Abraham and his people. There was no doubt Mary believed what God said. Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months until little John was born! God was fulfilling His Word through them.
Meanwhile, word came to Joseph that Mary was pregnant. “How am I going to handle this?” Joseph pondered. “I love her so much.” “There will be no processional march…leading her back to our house consummating our marriage.” “What am I to do?” She was not pure and she is with child. “What will the people say?” Joseph states, “There is only one thing I can do, I must divorce her quietly and not create a public scandal.” Joseph knew that if he did not do this, she would come under terrible scrutiny, which could lead to her death by stoning. His heart was broken.
Joseph is so exhausted from the never-ending thoughts regarding Mary that he drifts off to sleep. He begins to dream and then an angel of the Lord speaks to him telling him not to be afraid and to take Mary home as his wife for the child she carries is unique and her pregnancy is not caused
by man but through the Holy Spirit. The angel tells Joseph that the prophet
Isaiah declares that the virgin will be
with Child, and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel, God with us [Isaiah 7:14]. The angel tells
Joseph that this is God's eternal plan.
As soon as Joseph wakes up, he remembers his dream and obeys the Lord. He violates all the customs of the land by immediately taking Mary, as
his wife, into his home rather than waiting until the time of engagement had passed. Yes, there would be gossip
and misunderstanding, but Joseph believed and was obedient. His job was to care for Mary and the child. What love! Blessed are they!
Written by Carol A. Adams