Even Mary was scared.
Is fear ok?
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” New International Version – Luke 1:26-33
Tonight, on Facebook I read a post by a young person expressing fear in going to the mall. Just last week, there was a shooting in a nearby mall, and then Friday, we all learned of the unspeakable tragedy in Connecticut.
It’s tempting to have fear; it’s tempting to want to isolate our selves and our children from the world. It’s tempting to feel confused.
What can we learn from Mary?
An angel came to her with a message, and she was troubled. He even approached her with kind words, “you are highly favored.”
However, something troubled her, whether it was the sight of the angel, or the words he said, or the unknown of what was next. Whatever it was, she had enough fear, the angel consoled her with these words. “Do not be afraid”.
Daily, for my job, I read global reports about threats in the world, including places I plan to travel to.
Isabel today asked to go to the mall. The first thought that came to my mind was the threat of a psychopath.
These seem like pretty valid fears given our recent events.
However, Mary was faced with a different a kind of threat.
Spiritual Threat – Mary was faced with a personal visit from an angelic being, and not just any angelic being, but the archangel, Gabriel (high ranking). I would imagine his appearance was/is alarming in that it’s not something we are accustomed to seeing in our daily life. So I can only imagine the questions that rushed through her mind, and the overwhelming thought of a visit from a messenger from God.
Then the message came. “You will be with child.”
“He will be great and become the Son of God.”
Wow, I can’t even imagine receiving this message, let alone the idea of becoming pregnant as a virgin.
So what did Mary do with her fear?
Verse 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Mary spoke these words, “May it be.” and walked forward facing all the emotional, social, physical, and spiritual threats that would come with carrying the Christ child, whom one day she would bury.
There are threats in this world we face daily whether it be socially, spiritually, or physically, but we have a purpose in this world and we can’t stop moving forward with our mission.
Living in fear is simply letting the enemy win.
God is faithful to console us with these words in Isaiah 41:10.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
May God give us peace during this season.