“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus … The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…” Luke 1: 31, 35
Mary, who found favor in the sight of God, was chosen to be the carrier, the nurturer of His only begotten Son. A young humble virgin, waiting loyally for the coming marriage to her betrothed one, Mary never could have imagined what God would soon do for her very own heart all because she was loyal to Yahweh. Did she understand she was a vessel of fulfillment of God’s prophetic promise “in the beginning,” when woman was deceived to disbelieve in God’s absolute Holy Love? “Between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed… He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel” (Genesis 3:6, 15). Mary was acutely aware of her own unworthiness, and utter helplessness for such an appointment (Luke 1:29).
Yet, more important than her ponderings is Mary’s response recorded for us in His Word. “And Mary said, ‘Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word’” (Luke 1:38, emphasis mine). God’s message is clear: the Father doesn’t look to our past in condemnation; God acts in His Nature: Hesed love—full of mercy, grace, and truth offered to all generations for those who choose His covenant through a life of faith. (Psalm 103:17). Oh, the sufficiency of God’s grace! His Power is perfected in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).
Mary makes haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit is now six months pregnant. There is such a beautiful Word picture in this segment of our Christmas Story. The tenderness and kindness of God the Father touches my soul and strengthens my faith. Elizabeth’s baby, full of the Holy Spirit, leaps at the sound of Mary’s voice: in the fullness of her own personal, Spirit-filled hope, Elizabeth gives Mary the strength she needs through her beautiful words of humble blessing and affirmation. Mary responds to Elizabeth’s greetings with an outburst of praise to “God her Savior!”(Luke 1:46) A new family is about to be born: the family of God through the body of Christ. Mary and Elizabeth were not just preparers of the Christmas Story, they were genuine participants in fellowship with Father, Son, Holy Spirit and each other.
Remember this year as you continue to prepare for the celebration of Christmas: the “over shadowing” in the Christmas account gives us a firsthand witness to a new beginning from an Old Testament Truth. The eternal, ever-faithful source of God’s provision to all who are chosen is always His present Holy Spirit. The Father never forgets or belittles our humanness. He continually offers His personal strength and comfort through His Holy Spirit from one filled vessel to another, especially in the midst of our limitations (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).