“And Mary said,                                                                                                                                        “‘I’m bursting with God-news;                                                                                                              I’m dancing the song of my Saviour God.                                                                                        God took one look at me, and look what happened –                                                                      I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!                                                                                          What God has done for me will never be forgotten,                                                                        the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.                                                      His mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before Him.                              He bared His arm and showed His strength,                                                                                    scattered the bluffing braggarts.                                                                                                        He knocked them off their high horses,                                                                                              pulled victims out of the mud.                                                                                                              The starving poor sat down to a banquet;                                                                                        the callous rich were left out in the cold.                                                                                            He embraced His chosen child, Israel;                                                                                                He remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.                                                          It’s exactly what He promised,                                                                                                            beginning with Abraham and right up to now.’

“Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months and then went back to her home.” Luke 1:46-56.

Mary was so ecstatic about the great things God had done for her that, at this stage, she was not concerned about the practical realities of having a child out of wedlock. I don’t think she was unaware of the consequences, but she was not troubled by them because she knew that her pregnancy was a miracle of God, whatever people thought of her.

Had she told Joseph of the angel’s visit and her subsequent pregnancy yet, or did she only tell him on her return to Nazareth? The Bible does not tell us when she told him. We only know that when he found out he was deeply troubled. It took an angelic dream to reassure him that Mary had not been unfaithful to him during their betrothal period. He married her as planned but did not consummate the marriage until after Jesus’ birth.

If Mary was highly favoured of God, so also was Joseph. He was an honourable man, not wanting to disgrace his fiancée publicly when he thought that she was guilty of fornication, and refraining from demanding his conjugal rights until after the birth of the child conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Mary was blessed and favoured of God in many ways. Unlike ordinary people who never make it into the history books, her name would never be forgotten. She would always be associated with Jesus the Messiah as the young village girl who was privileged to bring Him into the world.

Never for one moment was she intended to be worshipped as the “Mother of God”, nor did she ever see herself as anything but an ordinary mother. How ridiculous to think that a human being can ever “mother” God. She was the vessel who bore His human form, but Jesus was more than just human. He was Emmanuel, God with us, as Charles Wesley so aptly put it, “Our God contracted to a span, incomprehensibly made man.”

Mary recognised that, in the Son she was going to bear, the promise God made to Abraham was finally about to be fulfilled. And He was bringing it about, not in the palace of a great king or as the offspring of a noble family, but through the womb and in the home of a “nobody”. That’s just who God is and how He works!

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Luella Campbell

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