But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.’ (Luke 1:30 -33 NIV)
Before my husband, Bob, and I returned to Lawrence, Kansas, to serve through the Haskell LIGHT House, we spent a year in Green Bay, Wisconsin, ministering among the Oneida people through Zion Lutheran Church. I remember my initial reaction when we were asked to relocate from Kansas to Wisconsin was one of overwhelming fear and anxiety.
First, I was scared to tell my family about our decision to enter into ministry and leave our home. I am extremely close to them and spent time with them on a daily basis. I was also overwhelmed with the task God had given us to help bring people into His Kingdom. Can you imagine how scared Mary must have been to have to explain her pregnancy to Joseph and her family?
Second, I was overwhelmed with the preparation and the move. At the time, our sons, Tre and Jorey, were 2 and 4 months old. The thought of packing up and leaving for the unknown was unimaginable. Mary traveled with Joseph to Bethlehem while pregnant with Jesus. I cannot imagine how Mary felt.
Third, I had only seen our rental home once but had no idea what condition it would be in when it was time to move. But when Joseph and Mary got to their destination, there was no room for them in the inn. Mary had no idea where she would be giving birth to her child and Savior.
When we arrived, however, Pastor Mark Schumm and his wife, Joan, members of Zion Lutheran Church, and staff from Lutheran Indian Ministries, were busy cleaning our home and waiting to help us unload our belongings. We were so blessed!
There is a huge difference between the feelings I had and the feelings Mary must have had, but I held onto that same faith Mary clung to as she entered into the unknown. In Jesus, and by faith, we find life and are able to overcome.
Thank you, Jesus, for being born to us for our salvation and also providing us with people to come alongside us in uncertain times to remind us of your plans. Amen.