“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
Mary the mother of Jesus so trusted the goodness of God that she submitted to a pregnancy that could crush her family, cancel her engagement, and consign her to the margins of society where she could never again hope for a respectable marriage. It is impossible to overestimate the social and religious risk of Mary’s pregnancy. She could have been stoned for fornication or even stoned for blasphemy by claiming the child belonged to God. Yet, she acknowledged who she was “a servant of the Lord” and what she needed to do “let it be unto me according to your word.” Mary trusted God’s goodness to work through an impossibly difficult situation. So did her fiancé Joseph. By human standards, it would have been completely reasonable and even merciful for Joseph to “divorce Mary quietly.” (Matthew 1:19). But an angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph and Mary, and they knew that the omnipotent God of the Universe had a special plan for the life that was growing inside of her.
It is also likely that they knew their own lineage. They knew that throughout history God worked through difficult situations, sinful people, and rebellious nations, in order to achieve the good of his people and the glory of his Kingdom. Think of some of the people in the genealogy of Jesus. Kings David and Solomon, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Manasseh. These were leaders of God’s people, and all had failures as large as their personalities and as obvious as their places in God’s plan for redemption. God doesn’t work around evil. He doesn’t work in spite of evil. God is able to work through even the most evil circumstances and people in history and bring about something beautiful.
At this Christmas season, when many of us feel like things are not the way they’re supposed to be, we can trust the God of Mary and Joseph whose love is inexhaustible, whose will is infallible, and whose power is unstoppable. The God of Abraham and Isaac, Solomon and David, your God and mine will succeed in bringing about his purposes in every, every, every situation and circumstance. The birth of Jesus Christ confirms this truth. May it be realized again this Christmas.