Did Mary have a choice?
The angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her that she would conceive and bear a son and name him Jesus. After a brief conversation, Mary replied to the angel’s offer saying: “Here I am, a servant to the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” If she had no choice in the matter, her response would be unneeded. Yet even after replying she needed to speak with her cousin.
I imagine Mary waking a day or two later and asking: “Did that really happen?” Fortunately the angel provided her with an opportunity to verify what she had been told, her much older cousin Elizabeth was also pregnant. Luke tells us she went with haste to visit Elizabeth and greeted her, perhaps repeating what the angel had told her.
This Sunday’s passage is Elizabeth’s response to Mary’s greeting. Imagine a young relative unexpectedly arriving at your door and announcing that she was pregnant before getting married. How might you respond? Would you ask: “What were you thinking?” Or would you respond with grace and love like Elizabeth?
I will have more to say about Luke 1:39-45 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 23rd.
Robert Shaw, Pastor
A Tip for Parents
Where would you expect a king to be born? A palace? An impressive hospital?
Our first lesson, Micah 5:2-5, foretells the birth of “one who is to rule in Israel” in a small city, Bethlehem.