I can’t imagine a more frightening experience. It was a time when you could be stoned for adultery.
If a man marries a girl who is claimed to be a virgin, and then finds that she is not, “they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her father’s house and there her townsmen shall stone her to death.” (Deut. 22:20)
What could happen to the pregnant unwed mother during the time Christ was born?
Mary, a virgin and conceived Christ after the angel Gabriel appeared and the spirit overcame her.
After she became pregnant, the bible says:
Luke 1:39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
Haste; excessive speed or urgency of movement or action; hurry.
Why would Mary leave in haste? Could it be she was frightened? Concerned? Overwhelmed? Fleeing for her life?
And what of Joseph? What could happen to a man hiding an unwed pregnant woman?
If a man has relations within the walls of a city with a maiden who is betrothed, “you shall bring them both out to the gate of the city and there stone them to death.” (Deut. 22:23)
There was so much at risk. If there was ever a more unplanned inconvenient pregnancy in the history of the world this was it.
Dreams, visions, angelic appearances?
A girl engaged to be married.
Pregnant before her wedding?
Who would believe her?
It would only take one to turn her in.
What if Mary was a girl at your parish or church? Would you take her in? Would you gather around her? Collect items for a poor outcast girl pregnant with child?
Or would you turn away? Judge her? Would you pick up a stone in anticipation?
And what of abortion? What if abortion was an option for woman in that day? What if woman were aborting their babies for gender selection, inconvenience or so they could further their education?
It would take a special woman to withstand all the pressure to keep a child under such circumstances.
No doubt Mary was an exceptional person. She was strong, god-fearing and full of love for her child.
In Luke 1:28, Gabriel tells Mary in his salutation that she is “highly favored,” and in verse 30, that she “has found favor with God.” The Greek word translated highly favored means “to grace,” “to endue with special honor,” or “to be accepted.”
So what type of person was Mary? How was she raised? Was she obedient? Was she law-abiding?
Mary, a girl, unwed and pregnant who God found favor with. A virgin, a believer – just a girl.
Because a girl would bring life to the Son of God.
And what about the unwed pregnant girl of today? What are our social norms regarding pregnancy? No longer do we stone with rocks, but with words? Judgement? Gossip? Shame? Do we provide shelter? Do we reach out and nurture? Do we praise the unwed pregnant girl who instead of stepping into the shadows of abortion takes on her task and steps out into the light of life?
I think we have a culture problem here. No longer should an unwed pregnant girl have to hide in shame. The act of her becoming pregnant should be none of my concern. That is between her and her God, but I do believe in this day a girl who becomes pregnant and chooses life when abortion is such an easy solution will be looked upon by God with favor.
Favor: to grace, to endue with special honor, to be accepted.
It should be no surprise that in the same chapter Mary conceives her son we read the following scripture:
For with God nothing shall be impossible. (Luke 1:37)
Written by Laura Lofgreen. Laura is the mother of six beautiful children; 5 boys and 1 girl – all of which are named after Arizona towns. She blogs at www.mydeartrash.com. You can also follow her on facebook.