December 21 I Monday
“‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’” —Luke 1:34
God sent the angel Gabriel to announce His plan towards Mary. After Gabriel’s greeting of overwhelming grace to Mary from God, Gabriel continued with the message: “You will conceive and give birth to a Son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants for ever; His kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:31-33).
Gabriel explained to Mary that she would be with child and she responded, “How will this be since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34). Some may compare Mary’s response to God’s message with Zechariah, who said “How can I be sure of this?” (Luke 1:18), when he heard that he and his wife, Elizabeth, will have a son. But we must see the vast difference between the two questions. Zechariah expressed disbelief to what the angel said, rejecting the possibility that God would work this miracle. Mary’s question, however, accepted the angel’s proclamation and was wondering how this miracle would take place.
Gabriel announced that Mary would have a son and she could have deduced, “I am pledged to be married. You are simply foretelling that Joseph and I are going to have a son. When we do, we will call him, ‘Jesus.’” But from the way Gabriel announced it, Mary somehow knew it was going to happen immediately, which is why she asked, “How will this be?”
The very fact that she asked this question is crucial for us in the Christmas story. It is as though Gabriel left out those details so we would forever have recorded in the Gospels the answer to the ultimate question about Jesus, and that is, Who is the father? Gabriel answers, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Fully God coming together with humanity is the miracle of incarnation. Mary experienced “Christ in you” in a way that no other human being experienced “Christ in you” because Christ was literally in her.
What must it be like for a mother to kiss her baby and realize she is holding the Creator of the universe in her hands? When we think of the interchange between Gabriel and Mary, the birth of Jesus into this world was one of the greatest miracles by God.
Prayer: Almighty God, the miracle of the virgin birth of Jesus is only possible by Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for sending Jesus, who is fully God and fully man, to save sinners like me.