In a small town (village) was a young woman, the age of which is unknown, but perhaps as young as her early to mid-teen years. She had a character that stood before all who paid any attention, and certainly the Lord did (Luke 1:30). Her name was Mary, and Mary did not have to be the way the Holy Spirit described her to be, but she chose a path in life that was above the paths many lived.
About 6 months after the grand (and divine) visit with Zacharias, Gabriel visited Mary in the small town of Nazareth. No doubt, Mary was startled by such a visit and, presumably, in a location that had privacy all around “he” visits with her. Frightened, perplexed, and confused, the angel reassured her because she was “blessed among women” (Luke 1:28). “What manner of visit could this be?” she asked.
What the Lord’s messenger said was humbly received with the grace by which she lived her life. That which the angel told her was fantastic to be sure. She would carry a child in her womb, a son; more than that, the child would sit on the throne of David, the great patriarch and loved servant of the Lord (Luke 1:33-34). Though she did not know how this could be, she not once expressed doubt but that it could be!
The angel explained to her how this would come about, and just as she did not understand the “mechanics” of it then, we do not now understand today. She accepted this, and moreover, the angel gave her a sign, telling her about her relative Elizabeth now being six months pregnant. Can you imagine the joy at such news! Yet, there was a natural, physical problem. Joseph.
For three months she stayed with Elizabeth (Luke 1:56). I wonder if they talked about how to handle that situation (among the great many things a grandmotherly aged woman would teach to a very young woman). Mary knew, being raised in a strict Jewish environment, that people would note her pregnancy and that she and Joseph were not “officially” married, having consummated that union. Imagine her apprehension; yet, Joseph came to know (Matthew 1:18-19), but how he came to know is untold to us. Perhaps Mary broke the news to him, but the fantastic nature of such a thing seemed much too extraordinary to believe, much less accept.
Not only was Mary a young woman of great virtue, but there was something in Joseph that was equally the same, for the Holy Spirit called him a “righteous man” (Mt. 1:19), and because both were righteous in the Lord’s eyes, to these two the Savior was brought into the world.
Truly, a time for thanksgiving.