Luke 1:34-37 (NIVUK)
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.’
Yesterday we asked, ‘What on earth would Mary have made of this?!’ Today’s passage gives an immediate answer, she was perplexed by it, ‘How will this be?’ This could either be simple denial – that’s impossible! – or it could be a case of genuinely grappling with what she was seeing and hearing and trying to make sense of it. My gut feeling is the latter, and if so, this is a great example of what faith looks like. Faith is about allowing what we hear of and experience of God to shape our thinking and lives, and that involves us engaging with it and reflecting on it. Faith is about asking questions. Whilst the angel may give Mary an immediate answer here, this is a lifetime’s work; I’ve no doubt that Mary spent much time pondering what she saw and heard, and letting the Spirit deepen her understanding.
Father, help us to gain a deeper appreciation of Jesus’ birth as we reflect on it this year, and to live our lives in response to what you reveal to us.