Disgraced Mary

In a loud voice she exclaimed, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” –Luke 1:42-45

Teen pregnancy is one of the most difficult things a young girl can go through. Some choose abortions so they don’t have to face their parents or friends with news that they are pregnant. Others who carry the child drop out of school and face the challenge of being shunned by family and friends. Let’s face it: pregnant unwed teens are not looked upon with a great deal of respect, even in this more “tolerant” day and age, let alone throughout history.

And God chose Mary. A young woman promised in marriage found herself to be with child. Imagine for a moment that you have a daughter who comes home and tells you she is pregnant — and it is God’s doing. You’d probably think she was crazy, right?! I’ve never really spent a lot of time thinking about what Mary and her family went through emotionally when she told them the news. In the Jewish culture of that time, Mary’s pregnancy would have been scandalous. She would have been an outcast in her own hometown.

Yet Elizabeth calls Mary blessed. Sometimes how God works doesn’t make sense to us. I can just imagine Mary asking God why. Why did you have to do it this way? Couldn’t I have been married first or lived somewhere else for a while? However, the Bible tells us that Mary simply accepted what the Lord had for her.

Sometimes, following God’s plan isn’t the popular thing to do. Maybe it is standing up to your boss on an ethical matter, speaking truth even when it isn’t welcomed, or making a decision not to go along with what everyone else is doing. Doing the right thing is often hard. But, rest assured that God is in control and that He knows the bigger picture.

I am sure no one in the village where Mary grew up ever forgot about that girl who had a child out of wedlock. What some of them may have never discovered is that she had a higher purpose and a higher calling in that pregnancy. Mary is considered blessed among all women for her response to God and for her role in history. She answered God in a way we all should when He calls us: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.”

GOING DEEPER:
1. Think about a time when you had to make an unpopular decision, but it was the right one. How did your friends and family react to it?

2. Are you fully committed to the will of the Lord in your life? Ask the Lord to search you and show you which ways you need to let go and let God.

FURTHER READING:
Psalm 139:20; Luke 1:26-56; Matthew 6:10

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Kelly McFadden

Kelly McFadden

Kelly McFadden is a wife and mother and is part of the HomeWord daily devotional writing team. Kelly graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2000 with a degree in journalism. Following a season of playing professional volleyball and training with the US National team, Kelly returned to school and received her Masters in Christian Education from Azusa Pacific University.

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