One fine day Mary’s life took a turn, a God activated turn. A sudden turn.
One fine day she was betrothed to Joseph, engaging in a culturally arranged lifestyle of marriage with the promise of children to raise.
The next day or so it seemed, her life path took a sudden turn. Yesterday’s path was no longer an option. The sudden fork in the road had a signpost that read – YOUR LIFE/THIS WAY… NO LONGER AN OPTION/THAT WAY.
And because Mary was well-versed, because she knew her history – where she came from, because she knew God and His merciful ways, she was able to be a joyful participant in God’s plan for her life.
There was an innocence about her due to her youth. Perhaps not enough earth time had passed for her to grow cynical towards God- stuff like angels and prophecies of old now being fulfilled in her lifetime, on her watch, in her face.
An innocence that God preserved for such a time as this.
Gabriel bursting in on her planned future to announce God’s planned future for her brought a response that could only come from a God- worshipping heart. A heart devoid of years of built up cynicism.
Her response dripped with that innocence. “…but how? I’ve never slept with a man” (Luke 1:34 Message Bible).
She appeared to be ready to accept Gabriel’s answer to her question.
And not only accept it, her prayer response reveals her heart, reveals what she believed about God.
Mary’s prayer takes us into an expansive world of God’s promises that are in the process of being fulfilled. (Eugene Peterson – Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places p.273-74)
Hannah’s prayer from 1000 years earlier became Mary’s prayer of response to God.
And Mary said,
I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God. God took one good 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 tyrants 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. (Lk.1:46-55 Message Bible)
Mary was able to tap into that ‘expansive world of God’s promises that are in the process of being fulfilled’ and say yes to God, to the role He was giving her.
It is obvious from her choice of response that her life was built on the rock solid foundation of God.
When you come to a fork in the road of life that says YOUR LIFE/ THIS WAY…NO LONGER AN OPTION/ THAT WAY, how will you respond?
Might we learn from Mary, the Mother of Jesus?