“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:31-34 ESV)
It’s funny the contrast between what the angel is saying and what Mary takes in. The angel is going on and on about how great Jesus will be, how He will reign forever and be called the Son of the Most High. Mary clearly heard all that, as she was able to tell it to Luke many years later so He could write it down. But in the moment, she could only ask one question: “How?“
Mary knew she was a virgin, and virgins didn’t have babies. And so she tripped over the very first phrase: “You will conceive in your womb and bear a Son.” She didn’t understand. And so she asked.
Mary did right. She didn’t worry about looking stupid for asking a basic question. She didn’t hide her worries away and brood over them later. She asked. And God answered.
So many things in our life are over our heads. God sends something new, and we don’t know how to handle it. Why not imitate Mary, and ask Him? It’s what the Bible tells us to do: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). God is gentle and kind to those who approach Him like children, asking for help. After all, He is the One who sent His own Son into the world to become our Savior. The same God who treated Mary with care and respect will treat us with loving mercy as well.
Prayer: Dear Father, when I don’t understand, please help and guide me. Amen.
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
First published December 13, 2021
* Are you ever embarrassed to ask a basic question? Why or why not?
* Tell about someone you know who is patient and gentle with the questions of people who don’t understand.
* What specific thing would you like to ask God now?
(To view the entire “Advent Devotions” mini-series, please click here.)