I was so excited…nervous…happy…scared. My life was about to change forever. Nothing would ever be the same again for me.
After all, I was getting married!
All my life, my mother had been teaching me the skills I would need to be a wife and mother: Cooking, sewing, managing a household. I had little brothers and sisters, so I had gotten plenty of practice caring for the children I hoped that Joseph and I would have some day. Still, I wondered whether I was ready for such a big leap.
Our whole village was invited to the wedding. Folks were always stopping me on the street or in the market, or coming by the house, to talk about the preparations or to offer me advice. Still, I was surprised when a man I didn’t recognize approached me. It’s unusual to see a stranger in Nazareth. And it’s even more unusual for an unknown man to speak to a not-yet-married young woman.
Then he said “Hail, you who are highly favored. The Lord is with you.” Hmmm… most folks are satisfied with “Congratulations” or “Best wishes”. I started backing up, looking around in case I needed to run away or scream for help.
But he told me not to be afraid, that I had found favor with God! He said that I would have a son (Joseph would be pleased!) and that I was to name him Savior: Yeshua, Jesus. That would be a nice name, I thought. But why did this stranger care what I named my baby?
But then he went on to say that my baby would be God’s own Son, born before Joseph and I came together. God would work a miracle in me, just as he had in my cousin Elizabeth… only much, much bigger. We had been told for centuries that a Messiah was coming to save His people. This man, this angel, said that the time had come: My little Yeshua was to be the Savior!
From prospective bride to mother of the Messiah. Now that’s a big leap! I was thrilled… But, what would everyone say when I turned up pregnant before the wedding? What would my parents think? What would Joseph do? Would they all reject me? Would I find myself all alone with a baby? With God’s baby?
But the angel said that the Lord was with me. So I would never be truly alone. And, even more than household skills, my parents had always taught me to love and serve Yahweh with all my heart, soul, mind and body. So, despite all my questions, doubts and fears, I chose to willingly accept what the angel said.
I was so excited…nervous…happy…scared. Life was about to change forever. Nothing would ever be the same again, for anyone.