What kind of greeting is that? Mary wonders. Was this stranger trying to flatter her? What did he want from her? And how did he know her name?
Mary backs up against the well, but the man only speaks reassuringly to her.
“Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with G-d.”
She looks into the man’s face. His features are…indescribable, but he is neither Roman nor Jew; so what then did that make him? Especially with his talk of G-d?
“Mary, you will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest: and the L-rd G-d will give him the throne of his father David: And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and his kingdom will never end.”
The Mashiac! Now? In her time? Her heart beats wildly at the thought and she dares a smile. This is wondrous news. And she was the one chosen to be the messenger of G-d’s good news, the channel through which her people would know G-d was still with them. She was indeed favored to carry such news…
The magnitude of the stranger’s words dawn on her. She would be the mother of the Mashiac!
“But…,” she stutters, “But… I am still a virgin…how can this be?”
He smiles at her, sending a wave of comfort over her.
“The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you and the holy child born of you will be called the Son of G-d. For the things which are impossible with men are possible with G-d.”
There seems to be a joyful mirth in his voice as he speaks.
“Remember your relative Elizabeth, who was called barren? She is now six months pregnant, though she is past the age of childbearing.”
It has been sometime since Mary had seen her aunt, Elizabeth, but she knew of her struggle to bear her husband a child. And now she was finally going to be a mother! Mary feels her heart fill with joy. She glares at the man, not in disbelief, for her heart testifies to the truth of his words, but in building excitement – so much good news for her family, for her people.
But the man is quiet now, a pensive look on his face. His eyes sparkle and he seems to wait on her. Then she understands why: though he has told her what would be, he is also asking her permission. It is her body the Mashaic will be born through. She will be the one regarded for bringing him into the world.
And Joseph… what will it mean for him? Certainly if G-d is calling her, he is calling Joseph as well. After all, they all prayed for the Mashiac, not just her. It would be his honor as much as hers. He would receive it and treasure it, as she would. Always. There is only one thing left to say.
She turns her gaze downward in a moment of reverence and says, “I am the L-rd’s servant. May it happen to me as you have said.”
Mary waits for a response, but hears nothing. She looks up and sees no one; she is alone.