Mary was dreaming again—about Joseph. A year had passed since Joseph’s request for marriage. Mary knew the day of her betrothal was drawing near. Every night she listened for the shout of her beloved, coming to snatch her away and make her his bride. Would this be the night? Her wedding gown glowed pure and bright. Every stitch was sewn in place and visions of rapturous love while standing under the canopy with Joseph were her daily imaginings. What would it feel like to receive the blessings written in the Torah and know Yaweh was pleased with their holy, untainted union? Would Joseph come this very night? Mary looked at her gown and knew she was ready…ready to bind herself to Joseph and bear him a treasure trove of children.
Suddenly, dazzling angelic light flooded her room. Gabriel, God’s angel, began to speak amazing words spilling over with fervent exhilaration.
“Don’t be afraid, Mary. God has seen the hunger in your heart for Him. Among women, you are highly favored and when the Holy Spirit falls upon you, your womb will conceive the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Mary held her breath. Oh, how magnificent to be chosen. What wondrous news, that I a lowly handmaiden would be set apart to bring forth the long awaited Messiah.
But in the next moment, horror riveted Mary’s heart. Pregnant…before my betrothal? Pregnant…before I don my virginal gown? Pregnant… before Joseph sweeps me away in the night? And what will people say…will I be stoned? Oh, how can I say no to all my hopes and dreams, say no to a day… like none other?
And we know the story well and remember—Mary said yes.
Our own hearts cry out, “Lord, to what must we say no, that your glory fills our souls? What are the opinions of men that keep us from bowing our knee before your Majesty and receiving Your favor? And Lord, give us the freedom to say, ‘Be it unto us according to your Word.’”
And so, my beloved sisters, I bowed my knee and remembered a girl of long ago—who said yes. Did you remember also? Precious friends, let’s join our hearts today and surrender…
“Oh, Lord, let your love reside in us that the world may know
there is a God who so loved the world that He gave… His only Son.”