“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
God doesn’t concern himself with obstacles. He doesn’t worry when the odds are stacked against him. He never gives up in the face of challenges or when people assume something is impossible. When God decides to do something, He does it, no matter what. When God makes a promise, He keeps his word, no matter how difficult it may seem. Mary was a virgin, and therefore, from a human perspective, from a biological standpoint, she could not conceive and give birth to a child. Mary understood this, and if we were in her shoes, we would react the same way she did: “How will this be?” So, the angel told Mary God’s plan. The Holy Spirit will place the child in your womb, and He will be the Son of God.
The virgin birth has become a controversial, confusing and yet critical truth in the Christmas story. Some make Mary out to be a perfect, angel-like being who was chosen to bear the Christ-child because of her perfection. Others flatly reject this aspect of the story as an impossible myth. In faith, we read these words as profound and amazing truth. God did something miraculous through Mary, and the child she carried and gave birth to was not in fact her child, but God’s own Son, a co-equal person of the Trinity and God himself humbled into human form, from microscopic embryo to full-grown man dying on the cross. The virgin birth reminds us of God’s miraculous power and of Jesus’ divine nature. Mary was asked to believe the impossible and so are we, as we read the story of our Savior’s birth.
The angel assured Mary, “For no word from God will ever fail.” That’s the assurance of our faith and the certainty of God’s word. All that God says is true, and all his promises come to pass. When God tells us, “I will never leave you” (Hebrews 13:5), He means it. When the Spirit assures us that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:39), we know it’s true. When Jesus says, “I will come back and take you to be with me” (John 14:3), we can be sure of it. The Christmas story, from the angel’s visit with Mary to the Child sleeping in the manger, proves that God always keeps his word. He always has and always will.
Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness. You have made wonderful promises and fulfilled them all. Help me to walk in faith, trusting that You will do for me all that Your word says. I love You and pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian