Mary Mary, Quite Contrary


Last year at Christmastime I had just had a baby.  He was two months old.  Actually, he played baby Jesus in our Christmas Eve service at church.  This year I am pregnant.  Naturally I have felt especially drawn to Mary’s role in the whole Christmas story for the last two years.  Mary’s response to this life-changing event is what intrigues me the most.  Her response to God’s will for her life reveals amazing faith.  It is such a tiny part of the Christmas story, but so powerful.

When an angel came and told Mary she was going to have a baby, the Son of God, Mary said two things.  First she said, “‘How will this be, . . . since I am still a virgin?'” (Luke 1:34)  The other thing she said was, “‘I am the Lord’s servant, . . . May it be as you have said.'” (Luke 1:38).

She didn’t laugh and say, “That’s impossible!,” as I imagine I might say.  She didn’t say, “Now wait, let’s think this through rationally Mr. Angel Gabriel.  Do you really think this is what is best for me?”

This is what I do too often when God shows me the way He wants me to go and I don’t like it.  I analyze.  I contemplate.  I debate.  I try to find ways around His will.  All TERRIBLE ideas.  He promises good things for my life–better than I could even dream up myself, but out of fear, I rationalize.  Fear of the unknown paralyzes me.

Was Mary scared?  Oh I imagine she was petrified.  Having to face her family and fiance and explain everything to them, knowing she sounded crazy must have been terrifying.  You may not know that Mary quite likely could have been stoned to death for becoming pregnant while engaged to someone.  Of course she never had to endure this, because quite fankly God knows what He is doing and there was a special plan for this baby she would carry.

But I am inspired by Mary’s willingness to believe and obey, regardless of all the unknowns that laid ahead of her.  In the new year I want to try being more like Mary in matters of faith.  I mean I have never been at risk of being stoned to death over anything God has called me to do.  Yet I complain and am not readily willing to obey, even though I know there are nothing but blessings that await those who obey the will of God.

Lord help me in this endeavor.  And Happy Birthday Jesus!


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