Background: We have heard this story often, but each time it is so amazing. Zechariah and Elizabeth are introduced with a discussion of their standing, faith, and seniority. Mary is just a young girl, engaged to be married. Mary is not chosen based on status, or even her own need, she is just “favored”. In subsequent stories we get hints of Mary’s strengths and faith, but here she is just a young girl, probably in early teens. Note that when Luke is writing this it is before the doctrine of the Trinity had been introduced, but his description of her conception of Jesus by a miracle of God places him as the son of God in a profound way.
This statement from Mary is one of the most inspiring of bible. She has been faced with an angel who has told her that she, a virgin, will conceive a child that would be great- a savior! She was engaged, so becoming pregnant was a social disaster!! Unlike the miracle of Elizabeth’s conception, this was without precedence. But Mary said “let it be”. Wow! To put herself in God’s hands showed a level of trust that we must envy. It was not to be an easy road for Mary, and she would need great strength and love. God loved her, and she trusted in that above all else. This advent season, as we light candles and remember Mary, let’s not just remember that sweet innocence, but also that strength, love, and trust. The famous “Madonna” smile is one that both loves and challenges us to face God and take the path he leads us in.