26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
There are two worlds we as Christians live in. The faith world and the carnal world. In most of our encounters with our carnal world being interacted by our faith world, the question “How will this be” is often at the core of our acceptance of God interacting in our lives. We want to know how, so we can believe who. Sometimes our faith in God is affected by our ability to understand. “How can a loving God allow …” We don’t always have or get the answer. But having or not having the answers beforehand have little bearing on the outcome, except when it is a lack of faith.
Recall the woman who had the issue of blood and merely said “if I touch the hem of His garment, I will be cured”. Then there was Bartimaeus who was blind, crying out by the side of the Road “Jesus, have mercy on me” knowing full well that Jesus could (and did) restore his sight. The centurion, not even a Jew, came to Jesus and said that He only needed to say the word for his servant to be healed. These are the testimonies of the results of faith. The “who” resulting in the “how or what”. In our culture(s) we place a high value on knowledge, reason, understanding, logic. We have come to believe and taught that if we know the reasons, everything is understandable and therefore worthy of belief. We have put our “faith” in our reasoning. But that is nothing more than conforming our faith world to our carnal world, expecting the carnal mind to be the standard.
Mary, being visited by the angel Gabriel (which is pretty “other worldly” in and of itself) could not comprehend how this thing was going to happen. Even Gabriel’s explanation “The Holy Spirit will come upon you…” is not very descriptive. What does he mean? However, Mary was highly favored by God. That is, she was filled with a faith perspective, and her faith world dictated what her view of the carnal world will be. Mary did not really understand what was going to happen, other than she believed God. Her response “May your word be fulfilled” signifies that she walked by faith and not by sight.
Lord, give me the courage to put my faith completely in you. And let me look at how Your word changes me, and prepares me for the things you have for me. AMEN