Have you ever been caught off guard by an announcement from a family member or friend regarding an unplanned pregnancy? Maybe the mother-to-be has long struggled to have kids. Maybe she and the father aren’t married. Maybe you didn’t even know she was seeing someone. Whatever the case might be, it takes some time for your brain to process the information.
Now, imagine you were the shepherds visited by the angel on the night of Jesus’ birth. The angel makes this amazing announcement of the birth of the Savior – but what you hear is completely unexpected. You thought the Messiah would show up as an adult; a warrior riding on a white horse and leading a powerful army that would overthrow Rome. Instead, the angel says he’s a new-born baby lying in a feeding trough in Bethlehem.
Jesus’ birth doesn’t make sense to the human mind. None of what he did makes sense. So when we struggle to make it make sense, we are actually trying to understand something that’s beyond our abilities. We are left with two choices: believe and act in faith or refuse to believe and maintain the status quo. That was the choice the shepherds faced. Guess what? It was Mary’s choice, too.