Well we have had a nice walk through the new testament. Don’t worry there are still lots of women in the new testament we can discuss. Starting in Matthew we have the story of Mary, Jesus’s mother. I’m breaking up her story into two parts. Mary, Jesus’s mother and Mary Jesus’s follower. In both instances she had to be brave, obedient and faithful. There’s a wonderful book about the story of Mary written by Marlo Schalesky called Wrestling with Wonder. I will probably reference it but if you are interested in Mary I highly recommend reading this book.
Mary’s life was very simple and ordinary in Nazareth. She was 14 and betroth to Joseph who the Bible describes as a just and righteous man, (Matthew 1:19). I’m sure she was having just an ordinary day when Gabrielle, the angel of the Lord appeared before her. Gabrielle changed her life in an instant. No longer were her plans of a simple life of marriage and family. She was to bear the Messiah, the son of God. She was a virgin, she was 14. She felt totally unequipped for what Gabrielle was asking of her and yet she agreed to it. ” Behold I am servant of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your word,” Luke 1:38.
Our plans have changed, for some of us drastically. Many of us agreeing to the government’s request of staying in our houses, working and teaching school from home has found many of us unequipped. Homeschooling parents and educational institutions have poured resources into the hands of us parents who are trying to navigate a new way of educating our children. Spring vacations have been canceled, restaurants have been closed, jobs have been lost, toilet paper is gone and the list goes on. My husband is currently conducting his work and conference calls from my 5 year-olds room because, he needs somewhere to get his work done that he can close the door. We’re not equipped. Hospitals and medical facilities do not have enough face masks, gowns or face shields. The news reports there’s not enough ventilators for everyone who gets sick. We are not equipped! But our state of being unequipped will hopefully last a short time, months. Mary was facing the rest of her life and I’m sure she felt unequipped to bear and raise God’s only Son.
But not only did she agree to God’s commands she was excited about it. She went to her relative Elisabeth’s home, and sang a song about how happy she was about all of it. Luke 1:46-55.
It was more than just being pregnant. She was 14 and a virgin. There were laws about adultery where if accused of it she could be forced to be barren or even stoned to death. Joseph had to believe her and protect her. He was ready to “quietly divorce her” when Gabrielle appeared to him in a dream and convinced him otherwise. Being unequipped did not scare Mary away from her destiny, to bear the Messiah and bear witness to the Messiah. For Mary the promise we bigger and greater than the fear. What has God promised us that is bigger and greater than our fears? Can we dismiss our fears of being unequipped to teach for extra time with our kids? Our fears of sickness for God’s promises of healing and eternal life?
Mary faced many fears while raising Jesus. She had to give birth to him in a filthy, stable. She had to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s decrees, She lost Jesus at and found him four day’s later in the temple and those are just the stories we know about. Mary was brave because she had faith that her baby would save them all. He can save us all too. I believe faith fuels bravery and we build our faith by feeding on the promises of God in his word. This is a time for all of us to really listen to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Build your faith in that and become brave.
Can I pray for you today? Please leave your prayer requests in the comments below. I’d love to pray with you about them.