064IR - The Annunciation

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

You know that we as mortals have a tendency to resist change. Our Father in Heaven wisely prepares us before critical decisions need to be made. He does that oft times by schooling our feelings in advance, and informing our agency. Now in that light, would you please consider what happened to Mary on that day with Gabriel?

“And in the sixth month,” Luke records, “the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth.” (Luke 1:26)

Gabriel is Noah of the flood. He is one of Heaven’s presiding officers, and seems to be the herald angel of God’s great announcements.

He was sent, Luke continues, “To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.” (Luke 1:27)

By merciful providence, Mary was not to be alone through all of this, to bear God’s son. Joseph of kingly descent was Mary’s chosen companion, and as He so often proved, he was her protector.

“… the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” (Luke 1:28)

Mary stands preeminent, chosen and blessed among women because of her faith. Even her name rightly means “exalted.” And please note, to our Father in Heaven, she is precious.

“And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.” (Luke 1:29)

The sight of the angel frightened Mary, and evidently confused her. Why was he greeting her in such a manner, and with such reverence?

Seeing this, the angel responded, “…Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And [behold,] thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” (Luke 1:30-31)

As it is, motherhood is the highest, holiest calling on earth - but to be the mother of Jesus the Christ? I can’t even imagine! Her son would be as He was named. The name “Jesus” means “savior.”

“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Israel [Jacob] forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:32-33)

This promise to Mary must have stayed her and stayed with her for the rest of her life. No matter the mortal realities, her son was a prince – the “Prince of Peace” – worlds without end. No son ever brought more honor and glory to his mother than did Jesus. But – to have a son, and be not married?

“…How shall this be,” Mary said, “seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34)

As yet, Mary still did not understand or comprehend who and what, and how her son was to be.

In response, Gabriel said, “…The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing that [which] shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)

This son was to be like no other before or after. He was the only son God ever sired into mortality, the only begotten in the flesh. The Son of God Himself was coming to earth, and she, Mary of Nazareth, was to prepare His physical tabernacle, and be His earthly mother.

And then, as if to confirm Mary’s overwhelmed faith, Gabriel said, “And, [behold,] thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:36-37)

When all the powers of hell would be let loose on Mary and her family, and they would, she would always remember and know this truth: God can do the impossible. What serenity and peace this proven truth must have been to her later.

The call was now explained and extended. Mary’s calling and election in mortality had now been offered to her. Now what would she do?

“…Behold, the handmaid of the Lord;” Mary said in meek submission, “be it unto me according to thy word...” (Luke 1:38)

I find it most notable that before Jesus would ever say in Gethsemane, “…not my will, but thine, be done,” his mother in principle would say it first. (Luke 23:42)

Besides her almighty Son, was there ever a mortal who accepted so much responsibility with so few words? My soul overflows with reverence and awe and love for Mary! What manner of woman was she? – is she? And how did Heaven look upon her? I can’t even find the words!

Merry Christmas.

Glenn Rawson – November 2006
Music: O Holy Night (edited) – Marvin Goldstein - Christmas
Song: Maria Wiegenlied – The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra and Sissel