“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.”
— Luke 1:31
No one expected it—not Joseph, and certainly not Mary. A child before marriage. A son conceived without having sex, however that might work. He would be a holy child, someone set apart to God. He would be the Son of God, whatever that might mean. That’s what the angel told Mary.
Naturally, Mary asked how this would happen. The angel said the Holy Spirit would come upon her. Who ever heard of such a thing? Joseph and Mary expected that any child they might have would be a gift from God. But they sure didn’t expect this.
Though their son would be conceived in an extraordinary way, he would be born in the usual way. He would eat and sleep in the usual way. He would grow up in the usual way. And he would learn the family trade in the usual way.
For a long time, there wouldn’t be much unusual about their son. Not until the Holy Spirit, who would come upon Mary, would also descend on their son (Luke 3:22). The Spirit would send their son on a mission to be the Savior of the world.
That mission would unfold in ways no one expected. But their son would keep moving forward. With a generous heart, with a courageous spirit, and with toughened soles, he would stick to the path of that mission for the glory of God.
Jesus, you are the pioneer and perfecter of faithfulness. Your feet walked the path ahead of us. May our feet keep moving as we walk along behind you. Amen.