26 When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, 27 to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” 29 She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. 31 Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. 33 He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.” 34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I haven’t had sexual relations with a man?” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come over you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the one who is to be born will be holy. He will be called God’s Son. 36 Look, even in her old age, your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son. This woman who was labeled ‘unable to conceive’ is now six months pregnant. 37 Nothing is impossible for God.” 38 Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38, CEB)
We often praise Mary for her tremendous faith and trust in God, but I like that she has a question here. “How?” seems like a pretty fair question, too. The response from the angel is not a practical one, and to us it can sound almost cliche, but it is in many ways the heart of the gospel itself: “Nothing is impossible for God.”
God’s hope for humanity always feels impossible. Our imaginations always fall a little short, so we always wonder “how.” But God is always unfazed. God makes a way out of no way, the possible out of the impossible. May we, like Mary, be content to be part of God’s dream for the world, even if we don’t quite understand the whole picture yet.