One of the most astonishing events in history happened about 2,020 years ago today.
For on that day, the angel Gabriel appeared to a young virgin in Nazareth named Mary, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, and announced that she would bear the Son of God in her womb. Nine months before Christmas – today, March 25.
Imagine what a scandal this would have been! Not only was there Joseph to think about – but the society at large.
Most of us, in Mary’s position, probably would have panicked. First of all, here’s an angel appearing out of nowhere, which has to be a truly fearful experience. And then he’s saying that you’re going to break all societal convention and also have to explain this to the man you’re going to be married to. It’s a terrifying prospect.
But what is truly extraordinary about the story is how Mary responds. She doesn’t panic, she doesn’t run away, she doesn’t hide. She submits her will completely and totally to God in Luke 1:38:
“Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.”
What incredible faith!
And truly, Mary’s faithfulness in the midst of such an enormous decision should give us cause for reflection. For when God calls upon us in ways big and small, our answer, too, should be “yes.”
The rest is history. God became man, incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and redeemed the world.
But isn’t it something? God chose a humble, faithful girl in Galilee to bear His Son. And she said “yes” over 2,000 years ago today.
Glory to God.