By Scott Brown
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Waverly
Just as God had promised to Jacob that all the earth would be blessed through his offspring in our previous lesson, we now see God keeping that promise. Jesus is a promise kept.
At a time when it looked like God’s people had been utterly forsaken and His promise totally forgotten, God sent His Son and kept His promise.
I’ve always been particularly intrigued by this interaction between Mary and Gabriel here in the Christmas story. Gabriel is sent by God to a very specific place at a specific time with a specific message for a specific virgin.
Gabriel’s greeting to Mary always astounds me. He declares to her what will happen and that it is because she has found such favor with God. She is truly “blessed among women” he tells her.
I’ve often wondered about the ridicule, the rumors, the snarky comments, or the criticisms she likely experienced because of this blessing Gabriel announced to her. What I mean is that her family, her friends, and the community in which she lived would never believe this incredible story.
It’s likely that many simply wrote it off as a ridiculous lie trying to cover for her and Joseph’s sin. This blessing that Mary received would cost her in more ways than she could then count but she counted God as worthy of whatever it might cost to trust Him.
I often also wonder about Mary’s thoughts as she stood before Jesus on the cross.
Did her mind drift back to this moment with Gabriel? Was this the favor she found with God, to see her son writhe in pain and suffer the cross? Was this the blessing of God that Gabriel promised? Now what about after the resurrection when she discovered that Jesus had risen from the grave?
As she saw the redemptive plan of God unfold before her eyes I wonder if she thought back on that encounter and the cost of the great blessing she was given to bear the One who would bear our sins and to mother the very Son of God.
I don’t entirely understand what Mary felt or thought in that moment or any other but I know what she said to Gabriel when all was said and done, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be done to me according to your word.” What incredible faith!
Whatever the cost, whatever the pain, whatever the tears, and whatever it takes our God is worthy and serving Him is always worth it! Thank God He is a promise keeping God. He kept His promises then and He still keeps them now.