Scripture: Luke 1:26-38 (NIV)
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor 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.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “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. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Outside of a Tatooine home, looking down at Anakin working on the pod racer with some friends, Qui-Gon talked with Shmi about her son.
Qui-Gon: “The Force is unusually strong with him, that much is clear. Who
was his father?”
Shmi: “There was no father, that I know of…I carried him, I gave him
birth…I can’t explain what happened.”
Shmi didn’t have what Mary had, which is a difference between an impersonal Force and a loving God who cares for His creation. Shmi didn’t get an angel showing up in the doorway of her hovel, telling her about midichlorians and how Force manipulation could have brought about life in her. She never knew why she was chosen–and neither do we–or what was going on in her life.
While Mary did have the advantage of hearing that she would be greatly honored and blessed among women, I don’t imagine after that initial contact she felt much less confused than Shmi did without anything. While she was willing, Mary was just going on faith that if the Lord wanted this, it was a good and necessary thing.
Whether the child came from God or from the Force, I imagine neither woman had it easy. Trying to explain something that most would find inexplicable. Telling folks you had no idea or that it came from God would seem to many people to be covering up for a night of sin or a relationship that wasn’t condoned. It took another angel for Joseph to believe Mary, after all, and he was the one most likely to trust her!
Mary trusted in God to get her through whatever slings and arrows she might have to face. We are thankful, most particularly at this time of year, that she did! While we don’t have the same burden that she did, we can also trust that God will be with us, especially when He gives us tasks that seem overwhelming. God is with us, always!