In the popular rom-com Father of the Bride, Steve Martin shows us all the feelings that emerge when a father’s little girl gets married. His daughter comes home from studying abroad and shares with her parents that she is engaged, and her parents are shocked, to say the least. The overprotective and slightly skeptical dad still sees his 22-year-old daughter as a little girl and wants the best for her. His daughter is young and happily in love but still longs for her father’s approval.
When we read the story of Mary and Joseph, young and engaged, we don’t get the story from their parents’ perspectives. But can you imagine? Mary is said to have been only 15 or 16 years old, and she tells her parents that although she’s a virgin, she’s pregnant through the Holy Spirit and will give birth to the Son of God. I’m dying to know how that conversation went! Were they shocked? Skeptical? Scared or excited?
Perhaps we don’t get that side of the story because it doesn’t matter. All that matters is Mary’s faithfulness to that which God had called her. When the angel Gabriel first came to Mary, he greeted her by saying, “Greetings, you who are highly favored!” Mary was troubled by his words and wondered what the message would be. The angel gave Mary the Good News, and she responded in a statement of trust and faithfulness. Mary responds in Luke 1:38, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.”
Just like a good earthly father wants his daughter to marry only the best, our Heavenly Father loves us so much to prepare the best plans for us, too. When God calls us to be a part of His plans, big or small, it’s always out of His loving grace. May we have the courage to respond to God’s call like Mary, or like in the Lord’s prayer, “My Father in Heaven… Your will be done.”
Mary was called to play a very special role in the Christmas story. She was courageous and faithful to her calling. Is the Lord calling you into a special role? How can you answer faithfully?