Mary's Choice - Guidelines Devotional
Speaker: Dr. Harold J. Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel--which means God with us. Matthew 1:23
It's a very good thing that Jesus Christ was not born in China, or in Japan, or even in the United States, for that matter. Why? Because there is a very high probability that he might not have lived to birth. In the countries I just mentioned, the rate of abortion versus live births would have made his birth problematic.
For a few brief moments, ponder the circumstances. First--Mary's pregnancy was an embarrassment. She was unmarried and single. Even Matthew and Luke, who write the beautiful narrative of Jesus' birth at Bethlehem, are quick to recognize the fact that Joseph, to whom Mary was engaged, was embarrassed over her pregnancy. This is borne out by the fact that he wanted to send her away privately until the baby was born.
Only God knows how many babies are never born because of the pressure put on expectant mothers due to an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy which is an embarrassment to the family. While some think that a quiet abortion is an end to an embarrassing situation, the trauma and silent cries of pain on successive birthdays as a mother thinks, "My baby would be so many years old by now" go on for a lifetime.
Joseph knew he was not the father of the child, and though he was a kind man and a godly one at that, it was not until an angel appeared to him that he was fully convinced that the child had been conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Then, consider the fact that Mary and Joseph were both struggling with poverty. Luke makes it clear that though Mary was rich in righteousness, she was poor when it came to worldly riches. How do we know this? This is suggested by the rather inconsequential offering which they brought to the temple at Jesus' dedication (See Luke 2:21-27). Joseph was a carpenter, a common laborer and Mary a mere girl, probably in her middle teen years.
Frankly, they couldn't afford a baby at that point in their lives. Everybody knows that when you marry, you want some time to get a handle on setting up a home, buying what you need, not preparing baby food and changing diapers. The child Mary was bearing was destined to change the course of humanity. Yet every child bears the mark of God's handiwork, reproducing the images of two parents, as 23 chromosomes from each parent produce their likeness in a tiny infant whose future can also bless humanity.
There is another factor which many consider grounds for terminating a pregnancy. The world in which they lived was filled with turmoil and chaos. "I don't want to bring a child into the world when there is so much chaos," was the excuse one young woman gave for terminating her unwanted pregnancy.
In most of the world, terminating an unwanted pregnancy is viewed as the solution to embarrassment, financial problems, impoverished circumstances and disrupting the flow of our lives. Had Mary pondered any of these factors, it is well possible that He who was to bring healing to humanity and redemption for our souls would never have been born.
A closing thought. The comments which I have just made are strictly conjecture, but the reality of abortion is not. It is a sad, cold reality. Apart from the issue of ending a life, the question which must also be asked is this: "Would I, by terminating a pregnancy, interfere with what God wants to do? If so, I have presumed to make a decision which He alone should make." Think about it. Resource reading: Jeremiah 1:4-5