”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. Luke 1:34-38
Dear heavenly Father, Mary had a calling no one else will ever share—to be the mother of God the Son—to nurse the One who created and sustains all things.
And yet all of us have much in common with her. When we consider the cosmos-renewing, history-defining, heart-transforming promises you’ve made in Christ, we too say and pray with incredulity, “How will this be?” And we hear you answer back in the gospel, “Nothing is impossible with God.”
Father, you’ve made promises you alone can keep, and you will. This includes making all things new through Jesus, and redeeming his pan-national Bride. But it also includes your plans for our lives. Just as surely as you placed the life of Jesus in Mary, you have done the same for us. Though in an entirely different way than Mary, we too are pregnant with glory (Rom. 8:18-27).
One Day we will be as lovely and as loving as Jesus (1 Jn. 3:1-3). We will only reason with the wisdom of heaven and will see all things with eyes of grace. Our favorite bread will be your will, and your glory our greatest delight.
One Day it will be impossible for us to sin—no more selfishness or pettiness. We’ll never get our feelings hurt, insist on being right, or demand more than you give or settle for less than you will. We’ll think of others more highly and more often than ourselves. We’ll be FREE, so very free and whole.
In response to this great hope we cry out, yet again, “How will this be, since we’re still so very much not like Jesus?” And you answer back so graciously, “I will complete the good I began in you.” Hallelujah, many times over! We praise you for your relentless, irrepressible grace. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ powerful and loving name.
– Scotty Ward Smith,