In this verse (Luke 1:37) we encounter the truth in its fullest sense. We encounter it in the form of the Angel Gabriel’s visitation to Mary and the message he brings to her. It is a heavenly encounter, one that demanded a response. And Mary’s response was the most humble and important response in all of history. Her ”Yes,” her innocent, yet affirming response to the word of God was an act of faith, for the truth of that word was beyond mere human comprehension. It could only come through an abiding faith in God.
Mary’s encounter with the holy was not a simple, ordinary thing. It was overwhelming. She was afraid at the presence of the angel. His awesome presence would have been enough to frighten anyone. And his message to her could only have been experienced as stunning. But Mary was not chosen at random. Her faith was already pure, already deeply ingrained in her spirit.
We can only imagine how Gabriel’s words to her were received. “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” (verse 28) Mary, confused and “disturbed,” needed to be reassured by Gabriel. “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Then he reveals the truth, the message, and what a message it is. Mary, a mere teenager, no one famous or powerful, who is living in an obscure village in Israel, is told that she will conceive and give birth to a son, and that his name will be Jesus, that he will be very great, and will be called the “Son of the Most High, that the Lord will give him the throne of his ancestor David and that he will reign over Israel—forever—that his kingdom will never end.” (verses 30-33) We see and feel her innocence in her question to Gabriel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” (verse 34)
Here is the truth! All of this will be done through the power of God, the source of all that is Good, True, and Beautiful. In this event, Mary has encountered the overwhelming revelation of God’s love for us. It is a truth so great that she (and we) can understand it in faith. It is a mystery beyond all human philosophy and all human science. This child that Mary agrees to carry within her womb, this holy child, this Jesus, is the Son of God. He is the very Word of God that is the ground of Being, the Alpha and the Omega of all that is. He is the truth. This Word has never failed us, and never will. Mary said Yes to this Word in the pure innocence of her faith, and it entered into the world in flesh and blood through her. This Word, this Word of life, this Word of God’s pure love never fails. Through this Word all things live and have their being. Through this Word our salvation has come. Its truth has defeated the Prince of Lies, destroyed the power of sin and death, once and for all, forever. We give thanks to God who speaks this word into each and every one of our hearts in every moment. For this is the truth; God comes to each of us, just as he did to Mary, and asks each of us the same question. “Are you willing to let me enter the world through you this day? Do you believe that my Word is true beyond all knowing?” Do we have the innocence and faith of Mary to bravely and willingly say to God every day, “Yes, Lord, may it be done [through] me according to your will.” Do we believe that “no word of God will ever fail?”
Lord, we pray that you deepen our faith in you. Help us to pray more sincerely, to love more dearly, and to serve you more clearly every day of our lives. Give us the strength to let your Word come to our families, our friends, our co-workers, and all we encounter in our daily lives, through all of our actions and our words. We pray these things, believing in the power and the unfailing glory of your Word, Jesus. Amen!
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