This is the eighth in our Advent series of reflections, written by pioneering youth workers…
Here was a young girl who was possibly about 14 years old. A girl probably from a poor Jewish family, who lived in one room, they possibly ate, slept, cooked and lived in this one tiny room. Mary had her immediate future planned. She was engaged to Joseph and the plan was to marry him. But all of a sudden, her life is turned upside down in fact her life and her future as she knew it were put at risk.
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. 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 forever; his kingdom will never end.” I wonder if she felt terrified, did she ask, why me? was she confused? Perhaps excited. Maybe she felt special for once in her life. Did she experience all these feelings at once? Did her mind go into a spin thinking about how she would tell Joseph the news, would he believe her? Would he report her? Would that be the end?
In those days if a girl got pregnant while they were engaged, and their fiancée reported them, they could be stoned to death. So, what did Mary do? She said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”
I wonder if we are like Mary sometimes and we plan our future steps and then it all gets turned upside-down by God, how do we feel? What will we do? It seems that Mary trusted God, accepted his words and walked with him. What makes us afraid of saying “yes God” when he asks us to step out to be different and to challenge the “norm” (if there is such a thing)? It feels like it is good to go through all the emotions and feelings Mary may have gone through in order for us to grow in our relationship with God and to equip us for that next step.
By Heidi Carlin
Join us this advent.
Frontier Youth Trust is a home for pioneer youth workers. As part of our shared rhythm of life we have invited pioneers from within our community to contribute a reflection about a character from the nativity story. We will be posting these reflections throughout advent.
We invite you to journey with us and discover the story afresh.