Do not be afraid Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.
1) When Jesus was hanging on the cross about 33 years later, did Mary remember these words?
2) If Mary did remember these words, did she become disappointed with God? Was she at least a little bit confused? After all, the angel Gabriel said Jesus would reign forever. Yet, here was Jesus on the cross dying? Did Mary think that the angel Gabriel was wrong? So, what was going through Mary's mind?
Have your hopes ever come crashing down at the end of a dead end road? Did depression or discouragement or even hopelessness set in when some dreams, if not God's words, were shattered?
I was listening this week on the radio to an interview of someone who survived the Tiananmen Square massacre in China in 1989. She described how the young people of the cities had great dreams for change in China. They were looking for transformation within the government. Many were hoping for democracy. They never dreamed the Chinese army would begin shooting them down. Those hopes were dashed immediately. All dreams of political change ceased.
But the story was not over. She went on to describe how those young people who lived in the city began searching for meaning in life. They found Jesus Christ. Christianity, which had been blossoming in the countrysides of China, now spread among the young urbanites. Something happened that no one ever dreamed or imagined- the massacre led to the growth of Christianity.
Mary's hopes were dashed at the cross. Yet, something happened that she never imagined. God raised Jesus from the dead. God was going to fulfill his promise in a totally different way than she had ever thought.
When your paths seem to have come disturbingly to an end, or at least, you can't see any hope, remember, God might be at work doing something so much more than you can dream or imagine in a way you never thought. In the words of an old song by Carmen, "It may seem like Friday night, but Sunday is on the way."