So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:16-19)
Mary was young, perhaps 14 0r 15 years of age, when Gabriel appeared to her. At first she was frightened, but the Archangel reassured her. He announced that God intended to give her the wondrous privilege of carrying, birthing and nurturing the Messiah, the Son of God.
Since she was a virgin she wondered how this could be possible. He instructed her that the Holy Spirit and the power of God would manifest to and in her. Mary responded in humble faith, submitting to be an instrument in God’s hands.
I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. (Luke 1:38-44)
Nine months later, after the labor of delivery in the humblest of circumstances, she held a baby, certainly her son, in her arms. Her husband, Joseph who loved her and accepted that the son was not his, was at her side. And then, rustic shepherds arrived, claiming to have seen angels.
At first, Joseph was protective and barred them from entry. Mary asked Joseph to admit them. They came and worshiped the baby and soon left.
In the ensuing silence Mary reflected on the announcement, on the acceptance of Joseph, prompted by an angelic dream, on Elizabeth’s greeting (“the mother of my Lord”), on the hard trip from Nazareth, on the labor in difficult surroundings and on the unexpected visit and the worship of the shepherds.
Truly, she held a miracle in her arms. She became committed to this little bundle for the rest of her life. She did not know the future, but she knew to expect miracles.
Glorious Holy Spirit, come in the power of God to fill my heart with faith. Give the humility to look on Your moving in my life as Your work and not my own. Give me the faith to submit to any miracle You desire to manifest in my life. Remove from me any pride of place or privilege, so that I can become a worthy vessel of your Spirit.
To the glory of God my Guide and Teacher; Amen