Monday, December 15, 2014

A Sinful Woman's reflection on a Woman of Righteousness

Luke 1:26-38 NLTIn the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you! ” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail. ” Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

I don't want to, nor can I, personalize this as if I were Mary and can relate to what was going on inside. When I was younger I faced a pregnancy as a single woman, but that was the result of my sin. Mary's pregnancy was the result of her virtue! Knowing my own experience I have to wonder, though, what went through her head. Did she wish God had chosen someone else at times? Did she have private conversations with Him when she wanted to hide in the covering and never come out? It was during my pregnancy that God got my attention and changed my life. Mary's life certainly changed, too. One day I was reading Mary's account of being told she would have a child, and I remembered my own experiences way back then. I will emphasize that I can in no way, shape or form, know what it would be like to be held up as virtuous enough to carry the Son of God. However, the responses of others and the weight of those nine months are something that got me thinking....Did Mary's prayer life go something like this?...
Did she say to Him, "My Lord, You are my Yeshuah, and I give You praise. But, OH, ABBA! Why me? I am a simple woman who loves Your law, but who am I to carry the Messiah?!? THE MESSIAH!! The One my people have talked about and waited for - why did You choose ME?"
I believer that could be a prayer of her heart, but what about the moment when she told Joseph? Was her prayer a bit different then?
"Oh, Abba! Father! El Berit! God of the Covenant! My Joseph is hurt and very upset that I am carrying this child! When I say He is the Child of God, our Adonai, I sound like the crazy woman who lives up the hill! WHY ME? WHY have You chosen me? Yahweh! Must I lose my Joseph and be alone so he Messiah may come? Yahweh-Shalom, I need Your peace! Yahweh-Jirah, I need Your provision. Help me trust You, Yahweh-Shammah. Calm my spirit - I trust You."
What about when the people have found out and think that she and Joseph (the "Barbie and Ken" perfect couple?) have been intimate before they were meant to be? The pain! The ridicule and the looks!!
Did her private prayers sound like, "OH. MY. ADONAI! My spirit aches and my heart is broken by the things being said by our "friends" and the people we come in contact with. Yahweh, I know, and Joseph knows, that it is The Messiah - Soter - Whom I carry, and our hope, trust and strength are all in You. Bolster my spirit that the painful things being said will not cut through. Adonai, I am Yours and I love Your law - turn my ears deaf to the words of condemnation and close my eyes to the looks of scorn. I'm so unworthy and weak. Why have You chosen me? Surely there are stronger, more capable women who could and would be a better choice! I am humbled, Abba, that You find me worthy. Give me the fortitude to continue to be so. El Shaddai - My El Shaddai - El Elyona, Adonai!"
My sin...your sin...she carried the weight of all of us in the form of a tiny baby for nine months. The saving grace is Jesus' death and resurrection, but please do not look over the miracle of Christmas and what was sacrificed for YOU and for me.
Any of these prayers could be. How awesome to have lived a life God saw as worthy to carry His SON! And how thankful I am for Mary to do so and bring MY Soter - My SAVIOR - into this earth in human form!!
He gave up streets of Gold to walk on paths of dirt so we can walk those streets of gold WITH HIM for eternity. Selah.