26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed[a] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favoured one, the Lord is with you!”[b] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”[c]
35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[d] will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[e] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
The angel announces that Mary has found favour with God. God has chosen Mary to be the mother of Jesus, the Saviour of the world. Mary’s reaction demonstrates her humble faith in God. Yes, she has a question, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” Faith is not the absence of questions. Nor is faith about just giving God the credit when things go as we would plan them. Unlike Elizabeth, Mary probably hasn’t spent years crying out to God for a child. Yet, despite her surprise at God’s plans for her, she responds with humble faith. “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word.”
The Christmas story is full of surprises. Things don’t always work out as we plan or how we would want them. God loves it when we respond to Him with humble faith.