“And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus . . .’ And Mary said, ‘Behold the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.’” (Luke 1:30-31 NASB 1977 ed.)

We may know the Christmas narrative by heart. But, how many of us have it in our hearts. For many, it’s more like a fairy-tale than a real-life drama of how the real, live God became a real-life baby, conceived in and born from the womb of a real-life woman, so that you and I could have real life.

Here’s the reality. There was a lot at stake for Mary. Probably still in her teens, she stood to lose her honor, home, and husband-to-be. Even her life was at stake. Unwed, teenage pregnancy is common today, but it’s still often met with embarrassment from family members. In Mary’s day it was a capital offense. It warranted death by stoning.

Mary knew the risks. She knew that she would suffer social embarrassment at the very least. She also knew God. And, because she knew God to be faithful she, in faith, willingly submitted her safety, her future, and herself to Him. Because of Mary’s act of quiet obedience the Savior of the world was born!

Let’s never let the Christmas story become a fairy-tale in our hearts. Instead, like Mary, let’s fully trust and wholly submit to our faithful God. In so doing, we will demonstrate the reality of the Christmas story – real life in the Son of the real, live God!

© Paul R Downing

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