A Jewish proverb says: “God could not be everywhere; therefore, he made mothers.”
Coming to this Third Sunday of Advent, we recall the incredible mystery of the Incarnation; how a virgin, a young woman probably in her teens, was chosen to give birth to the Son of God.
We have become so familiar with the Christ-mas story that we forget how bewildering all of this was to Mary. Think about it: there is an angel with a message from God that Mary had found favor with God and that she would bear a son whose name would be Immanuel.
Mary’s reaction in verse 29, “She was much perplexed by his words…” seems a bit under-stated. So, let me try this.
Imagine yourself in the open doorway of an airplane about to take your first parachute jump. Ten thousand feet below you, fields and forests stretch out like multicolored postage stamps.
Your instructor’s hand is resting on your back, and in a moment, you know he will shout above the wind, “Jump!” Even though you are strapped to this “experienced” parachutist, the rational part of your brain still screams, “Don’t jump! This is crazy! You’ll die!”
When the Angel Gabriel invited Mary to “jump” into an unknown promise from God, it was with the assurance, “Nothing is impossible with God.” Mary made her leap of faith. “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” (verse 38)