Day 1 : MARY’S EPIC ENCOUNTER Luke 1:26-38
When Mary’s relative Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to visit Mary with some news. I wonder what Mary was doing when Gabriel came near — did she notice a change in the atmosphere as Gabriel appeared? Did the room lighten, or the air feel different?
He spoke first, probably because she was stunned speechless. He spoke warmly, identifying her as someone who was highly favored and blessed by God. It was as if God Himself had poured out a pitcher of grace on her. Almighty God — acknowledging her!
Mary was troubled by his words. What was Gabriel talking about? What did he mean —favored? What was this kindness from God?
The angel, seeing her face, urged, “Don’t 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.”
Mary asked for clarification: how was this going to happen? She asked, believing; it was a technical question. After all, she was only a girl and had never had sex. The angel surprised her with his answer: this was going to be a pregnancy from God, with God. This would be a blending of human and divine. This baby’s DNA would be holy, and hers. She would mother the Messiah!
As the magnitude of what Gabriel said began to sink into her soul, Gabriel encouraged her with news of Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy: she was already six months pregnant! I imagine Mary smiling in wonder. “Elizabeth? Pregnant at her age? A marvel …!”
Then Mary’s world turned forever as she opened her life to God’s will. Mary’s belief was solid: no word of God would ever fail. Ever. Even this. I picture Mary looking intently at Gabriel and saying simply, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be to me as you have said.” In our modern words, Mary said, “Yes. Yes, I’m in. Yes, let’s do this.”
Morning Pause: As you get going with this day, what would it look like for you to simply say to the Lord, “Let’s do this! Whatever You want. Whatever You ask, I say YES”? Surrender your reservations. Let go of your self-preservation. Open up to a sense of adventure and today, at every turn, say YES to God.
Afternoon Pause: What is challenging you today? How can you be like Mary, asking God honest questions about what is going on around you? How can you be authentic with God right now? Is anything causing you to marvel at God today?
Evening Pause: Reflect back on this day: what was saying YES to God like for you today? Did you maintain a sense of adventure as you let go of your own will and resolved to completely, unreservedly follow Him?