As a kid I never thought of Mary much. She was a grown-up ( or so my kid brain thought) and therefore she must have known what to do/dealt well with the whole "having a baby that's also the Son of God thing"....but as I've grown older a few things have come into my thought process about her:
For one thing, she was probably MUCH younger than I thought....as young as 13 or 14 and probably no older than 19 ( ancient of days). Also, the whole having a baby before you were married. Did. Not. Happen. You would have been ostracized or worse
And so here's this girl who's told by an angel that she is going to have a baby...right now. No waiting to get married and save some face, nope. She's pregnant starting today. Do you think she had Morning sickness? Fatigue? Heart burn? Ligament pains? Difficulty sleeping? Do you think she dealt with all the normal pregnancy symptoms? I mean, I'm sure her labor hurt as much as the next girls and I tend to think she had a normal pregnancy. And even if it was great ( I hear some people have these...) it is still a sacrifice to carry a child. A great sacrifice of love.
And now to the reading specifically:
verses 28 and 29:
The angel greeted Mary and said, "You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you."
Mary was confused by the angel's words and wondered what they meant."
Now forget my tangent here, but don't you think that's an odd reaction "confused"?! I mean, if an angel showed up and told me I was blessed I'd be excited, amazed, wonderstruck...but I don't know if confused is the first descriptor that comes to mind. But I think its perfect. Its a reminder that this is just a plain little girl, with probably the most basic "Spiritual upbringing". From the outside she had no outstanding characteristics...
but God chose the foolish things of the world, that he might be put to shame them that are wise; and God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong.." ( ICor 1:27)
When I start looking down on others, or even myself thinking we're not cool enough/smart enough/people-skilled enough...I need to remember that the Mother of Jesus himself was just a humble little girl...the important thing about her was what comes later...
verse 38: Mary said, "I am the Lord's servant! Let it happen as you have said." And the angel left her.
She was obedient and she had faith that what the Lord said He would do. This is H-U-G-E.
I've been reading through Kings in my Quiet time and since I don't have all the time in the world, just take my word for it that there are tons and tons of examples in the Bible of Kings, Princes, Captains of Armies and other fancy fancy people questioning God, not following what He asks of them, wanting more, whining, complaining, twisting His words and doing something different...the list goes on.
The contrast is striking. And so this Holiday season I'm focusing on the Humbleness of Mary. I'm thinking of her as the simple little girl that she was. As a girl who was told the Will of God and who went with it. And in return she was truly blessed. She got to be the one who brought the most precious baby in the whole world into the world. THAT is incredible to think about...