34Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” 35And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
In response to the angel’s statement that Mary will conceive in her womb and bring forth a son, Mary asks, “How can this be? How can this be, since I do not know a man?” Upon a cursory reading of the text, we might assume that Mary’s response is one of faithless disbelief. Yet this seems unlikely…. How could it be that the one chosen to bear the only-begotten Son of God be lacking in faith? How could it be that Zechariah who had not believed was condemned to silence, but Mary, if she had not believed, would be exalted by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit? No… Mary’s “How can this be?” was same “How can this be” that a child utters the first time he peer through a microscope and sees a world that he never knew existed in a tiny drop of water. It is the “How can this be” of wonder and awe. It is a “How can this be” that bows down, submitting to a divine mystery that not even she will ever fully comprehend. It is a question that springs from the heart of one who ends the thought with “Yet… not my will, but Your will be done.”
It is then that the Holy Spirit comes down and works things which are beyond description and understanding in the life of the believer. Ah, the mystery of the incarnation.
—Pastor Gene Liechty, Christ Church, Cary, North Carolina
Creator God, we praise You for all the mysteries which You have placed round about us. They are too wonderful for us and we ask with the writer in Proverbs 30: “Who can understand the way of an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, or the way of a man with a virgin?” Yet, Father, when we come to the incarnation, we arrive at Your greatest work of all… a virgin conceives, eternity takes on flesh, and the world is forever changed. We praise you for this mystery and we thank You for giving us the faith to believe the unimaginable. In Jesus name we pray, AMEN.
Talk with your family about some of the outlandish promises that God makes in regard to you and your children and your future. Discuss the origin and importance of faith in our lives as we walk this God.