But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 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, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
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. 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. For no word from God will ever fail.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Most of us have read this or heard this passage tons of times, but there’s something I tend to miss. She asked one question. One. And that one question was simply a matter of logistics. How will I have a baby? Because, something you may not know about me is…I’m a virgin.
I don’t know about you, but I’d have a bunch of questions.
What will Joseph say?
Will he leave me?
How will I explain this to everyone else?
What will my parents say?
Will you talk to Joseph for me?
Do you know how small our town is an how much people talk?
Is this really a job for me?
Do you know how young I am?
Will it be a normal delivery?
Will he be a normal baby?
At what age will I stop teaching him and he’ll start teaching me?
Should we raise him as a carpenter like his dad?
Will he even call him dad?
What if we have other children?
How will that dynamic work?
When will he stop being a carpenter and start being God?
I’m going to lose him, aren’t I?
But Mary. This young girl who’s going about her business and gets a visit from an angel with unbelievable news and she has one question.
The angel explains that God can do anything he wants. Even Elizabeth is having a baby and she’s super old, so being a virgin is not a problem.
And Mary says this, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” Anyone else floored by her faith? This must be the reason he chose her. Because he knew her heart and in her heart she was a servant of the Lord.
What kind of things could God do through us if that was our identity? If, at the core of our existence, we described ourselves as servants of the Lord. The world says, “Don’t lower yourself. Be proud. Be accomplished.” But what an accomplishment it is to do his work! There’s nothing that compares to it.
Since God knows my heart and he knows how I identify myself, does he pass me over for big jobs? Am I too busy calling myself a mom or a wife to think about calling myself a servant of the Lord? Think of some of the responses Mary could have given? I'm a teenager. I'm poor. I'm a Nazarene. All she said was, "I'm a virgin" and when that was cleared up, she said, "I"m a servant of the Lord."
Imagine something with me. Imagine that everyone reading this changes their identity. Imagine God asking us to do something really big we simply say, “I’m your servant. May your word be fulfilled.” It’s going to be a wild ride. Are you ready?