Has it ever occurred to you how incredible Mary was? I’m not sure that many people would have been willing to be part of what, if you really think about it, was a crazy idea. She can teach us a great deal about costly obedience and radical faith. I wonder if Mary was the first young woman Gabriel had visited . But just imagine if Mary had not been the first young woman Gabriel had visited … I wonder what might have happened?
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a young woman, whose name was Mildred. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”
Mildred was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mildred; you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him –
“You what?” Mildred exclaimed, “Favour with God? Having a baby? you’re having a laugh – I’m just a girl – that’s impossible!”
“Well,” Gabriel replied, getting a bit cross, “I was going to get onto that before you interrupted, so, if I may go on … You are to call the baby Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most –“
Mildred interrupted once more, “Yeah, yeah, yeah – so, he’s going to be important – you’ve still not answered my question … how’s this going to happen – can we just skip to that bit, please?”
Gabriel sighed. “If you had let me finish, I was about to tell you …”
“Well, go on,” Mildred said, arms crossed, “I’m all ears … this better be good,” she muttered under her breath.
“I heard that!” Gabriel retorted, “Anyway, as I was about to say, It’s going to be God’s baby – “
“Can I just stop you there –” Mildred interjected.
“If you must,” Gabriel replied warily.
“Honestly, you’re off your rocker!” Mildred exclaimed, “It’s a loopy idea. I’ve never heard anything so crazy in all my life – in fact, it’s the stupidest plan I’ve ever heard.”
“So, you’re not going to do it?” Gabriel asked with disbelief, “Even though you’re highly favoured?”
“That’s right, “you’ve found the wrong young woman – Now get out of my house!” Mildred shouted, opened the door and ushered the bemused angel out of her house.
Gabriel sighed. He pulled a pen and crumpled piece of paper out of his pocket. The paper had a list of names on it. “Another one bites the dust,” he muttered, “God won’t be pleased. Can’t say I’m too surprised though, it does seem like a bit of a crazy plan to me, but what do I know, I’m just the messenger! Who’s next? There can’t be many more virgins in Nazareth!” Gabriel looked down at his paper once more, “Oh, Mary. I hope we have better luck with her.”
Of course, that is not what happened! I’ve just been having a bit of fun which I hope illustrates how special Mary was in accepting her calling – I believe that Mary was the only one chosen to have the daunting, but incredible privilege of carrying the Son of God, and that when God chose her, he knew that she would accept the role as Jesus’ mother. I believe she was only able to, because God gave her the strength. I believe that God will give us the strength to do the things he asks of us. Let’s pray for that strength now.