When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and then to shepherds with good news for the world (Luke 1:26-27; 2:10), was it good news to this teenage girl? Perhaps Mary was thinking: How do I explain my pregnancy to my family? Will my fiancé Joseph call off the betrothal? What will the townspeople say? Even if my life is spared, how will I survive as a mother all alone?
When Joseph learned about Mary’s pregnancy, he was troubled. He had three options. Go ahead with the marriage, divorce her publicly and allow her to be publicly scorned, or break off the engagement quietly. Joseph chose option three, but God intervened. He told Joseph in a dream, “Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 1:20).
For Mary and Joseph, Christmas began with submitting themselves to God in spite of the unthinkable emotional challenges before them. They entrusted themselves to God and in doing so demonstrated for us the promise of 1 John 2:5: “If anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them.”
May God’s love fill our hearts this Christmas season—and every day—as we walk with Him.
Fill my heart, Lord, with rejoicing at the gift of Your love and forgiveness found in Your Son Jesus.
Reflect on the wonder of Christmas by reading more about Mary and Joseph at discoveryseries.org/hp074
Obedience to God flows freely from a heart of love.
The announcement that Mary would become pregnant and give birth to the Messiah is nestled in the middle of another pregnancy story—that of Zacharias and Elizabeth, relatives of Mary. This too was a miraculous pregnancy, as the couple was old and had never been able to have children. Their child, who would be John the Baptist, would preach repentance and prepare the way for the Messiah.