Lk.1:35 – Gabriel answered, “The Spirit of Holiness will fall upon you and almighty God will spread his shadow of power over you in a cloud of glory! This is why the child born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.
For years I passed over the importance of this passage. Mary is seen being anointed by the Holy Spirit and shortly after she begins to prophesy. Why does this stand out in a unique ways from other prophecies? No one had prophesied in four hundred years. There had been no prophets for the first time in Israel’s history. You could say they had passed through their own dark ages without a prophetic voice. The really strange thing about this prophet is that she is a woman. Not only a woman but a pregnant, unmarried teenaged woman. This is scandalous! But there it is right in front of us. Mary, the mother of Jesus prophesied in Luke 1:46-55. Here are some thoughts from Martin Luther on this great event.
“In order properly to understand this sacred hymn of praise, we need to bear in mind that the most blessed Virgin Mary is speaking out of her own experience, in which she was enlightened and instructed by the Holy Spirit. For no one can rightly understand God or His Word who has not received such understanding directly from the Holy Spirit. But no one can receive it from the Holy Spirit without experiencing, proving and feeling it. In such experience the Holy Spirit instructs us as in His own school, outside of which naught is learned save empty words and idle fables. When the Holy Virgin, then, experienced what great things God wrought in her, notwithstanding she was so poor, meek, despised, and of low degree, the Holy Spirit taught her this precious knowledge and wisdom, that God is a Lord whose work consists but in this — to exalt them of low degree, to put down the mighty from their seats, in short, to break whatever is whole and make whole whatever is broken.”
The Lord delights in doing the unusual and unprecedented. Think about those who were about to change the world; a pregnant teenager, the “more than strange prophet” John the Baptist, a fisherman from Galilee, a cursing Pharisee who hated Christians, and the son of a carpenter from Nazareth. God’s ways are not our ways; is it possible that unusual and unprecedented is about to fall on us again?