Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 1:18, English Standard Version
Sometimes the very familiarity of the Christmas story keeps us from gaining some of the depth found in the verses themselves. I would like to focus, today, on Mary, when she found herself to be with child by the Holy Spirit.
Joseph and Mary were engaged, but not yet married. They did not live together; Mary was still a virgin. That is almost unheard of in our day, so far has our culture removed itself from the Word of God.
When Joseph discovered her pregnancy, he planned to divorce her quietly. [When a couple was engaged in the time of Christ, they were already legally bound to one another, and could only be separated by death or a divorce.] However, an angel of God spoke to him, explaining that this child was conceived in her by the Holy Spirit.
What do you think Mary was thinking about through all of this? Being pregnant, in and of itself was an amazing thing, but to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit is something we cannot even imagine. The Bible had prophesied that a virgin would conceive, but do you think Mary had ever thought that she would be that virgin? Miraculous things always happen to someone else, not us, right?
During her time of pregnancy, Mary was probably scorned by those around her. Do you think they really believed her and Joseph's story that she had conceived by the Holy Spirit? Only Joseph and her cousin, Elizabeth, understood the truth.
We are given a few glimpses in other passages of Mary's responses to her child. Luke 2 records the visit of Mary and Joseph to the temple when Christ was a few days old. In the temple they met Simeon who took baby Jesus in his arms and blessed God, saying,
"Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel."
Luke 2:29-32, ESV
How did Mary respond? We are told, And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.
I cannot begin to understand the things that Mary was thinking when she found out that she was with child, and then throughout Jesus' life until his death upon the cross. What a woman, who was truly chosen and blessed by God for such a special task.
Though I cannot understand Mary's thoughts, I do pray that all women, when they find out that they are with child, will understand the gravity of raising their child. The most important thing to consider, as a Christian woman, is raising this child for the glory of the Lord. God has given us our children for a time, but they are to serve Him alone for their entire life.
Never stop praying for the grace of God to give you the wisdom and strength to complete such an enormous task.
To God, alone, be the Glory!
God Bless You,