**”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 1:38 ESV).**
Nowadays it is not uncommon that a young girl would be single and pregnant. A few short years ago, it would not have been uncommon for that same young girl to be shunned by her family and viewed as an outcast in society.
Most scholars believe that Mary was somewhere between 12 and 14 years old when the angel Gabriel paid her a visit. While children were expected to grow up fast—as one had to when marrying at such an early age—Mary still had a lot of learning ahead of her about what it meant to be a woman, a wife, a mother.
But Mary would not have been ignorant about the Word of God. Her uncle was a priest (Luke 1:5), and no doubt she was raised to love and fear God (God would not likely choose a heathen mother to raise the Son of God!). So Mary knew that the Law called for adulterers and adulteresses to be put to death (Leviticus 20:10). At the very least, such were outcasts from society and religious life.
I can imagine the rollercoaster of emotions on which young Mary rode. Shock. Bewilderment. Confusion. Fear.
As Gabriel shared with Mary God’s plan for her life, I’m sure that her mind was processing the information along with the potential consequences. She would have had to consider her parents’ reaction. Joseph’s reaction. The townspeople’s reaction.
Would she be thrown out of her home? Would Joseph reject her? Would she be cast out of the synogogue and from her faith family?
Yet, when Gabriel finished his speaking, Mary made her reply, concerned more with how God saw her than how everyone else did. ”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 1:38 ESV).
The strength it took in that moment is immeasurable. Yes there were great promises. But there were also great risks. She didn’t ask Gabriel to make himself comfortable while she went to her father or mother. She didn’t open up e-Sword X on her MacBook Pro to do a search of the scriptures for “virgin” and “conceive” to find Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 7:14). She didn’t fast and pray for a week or ask Gabriel to come back after she was married.
She just said, “Yes.”
In a day and age when most women made no decisions of their own, she said “Yes.”
We could discuss whether or not we should pray to Mary, but surely we all agree that she was a strong woman even though her years were few. She had to be for she would raise the Son of God.
Have a blessed Christmas Eve!
I will still be posting tomorrow, though I will likely be brief.