Faith That Gave Hope to the World

A Cursed World and a Promise

L'_Annonciation_de_1644,_Philippe_de_Champaigne.Adam and Eve were flawless people in a world who had flawless relationships with God and each other. Through them we can see what God had originally intended for all of us. However, the truth we see in this couple what humanity chose to become by disobeying the only thing God asked them not to do. He simply asked them not to eat the fruit of just one tree. That was it. Nothing more. But, they simply couldn’t resist. This choice resulted in a curse for all mankind.

This decision caused three things for Adam and Eve:

  1. They became separated from God.
  2. They became separated relationally from each other.
  3. They became separated from nature’s proper functioning.

All three of these things through the curse of Adam and Eve has been passed down to all of mankind. However, God didn’t punish them without at least giving them hope. He promised them that sometime in the future that a Redeemer would be born who would rise up and crush evil and save us from our sins.

The Promise Fulfilled

Maybe just as people may have been thinking that God was not going to fulfill His promise, it happens, in the village of Nazareth, something that would influence millions of lives and change the course of history, in the famliar story told to us in the New Testament.

A peasant girl, still a virgin, betrothed to Joseph a simple carpenter, is visited by the angel Gabriel and told she was favored by God and had been chosen to bear the Son of God. Unlike Eve however, Mary had far stronger faith and believed what she was hearing and was willing to do the bidding of God with no doubts and no questions. Even though she knew all the trouble this would cause for both herself and her betrothed Joseph. She still said yes without hesitation.

A Profound Faith

If you had been Mary, what would you have thought about what Gabriel had said? Would you have had both the courage and the faith to accept it and say yes? “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” Adam and Eve had heard the word of God but had doubted.

Mary heard the Word through Gabriel and believed. She believed against eveything that seemed rational, natural, or humanly possible. Mary knew through her profound faith that God was about to begin the fulfillment of His long awaited promise. A promise made thousands of years before. A promise made to the two whose choice had begun the curse that twisted people’s minds, hardened their hearts, and made the world an ugly and painful place to live in, a far cry from how it had begun.

It Was a Dangerous Situation

By saying yes, Mary knew she was putting herself in a dangerous situation. She knew that Joseph would have every right to break off their marriage and the people could even stone her to death for infidelity. But it was her faith that kept her from being afraid of what could happen.

It Was Unsafe

Rome had decreed that all people had to return to their of birth to be registered and this meant a very pregnant Mary would have to travel by foot and/or ass to get to Joseph’s birthplace of Bethlehem. But that did not scare Mary, her faith kept her strong.

There were many things that both Mary and Joseph would have to face together in order to fulfill the promise of God for Adam & Eve and the entire world, the promise of The One whose coming would restore for each of us the possibility of a personal relationship with God our Creator. We can thank Mary for her “Yes!”, a yes, that has given hope to the world!

Let Us Pray

Almighty God, as the children of our first parents, Adam & Eve, we too have sinned against You.

Every time we hear Mary’s story, we find ourselves overwhelmed by how much we need Your mercy.

We do believe in You, but not nearly as deeply as You deserve. We do believe in Your Son, but not though we deserve anything that He did for us.

Thank You for asking Mary, Your lowly servant to bear for us the Redeemer who would eventually live and die and rise from the dead in our place.

Please grant us forgiveness and life that Your Son offered when He said: “Amen, I say to you, he who hears My words and believes in Him that sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment,but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)

May we also remember to thank Mary always for saying “Yes.”

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