Handmaid of the Lord


Perhaps it is the fact that so many of our Bible commentaries are written by men that we so seldom read much about the care God shows for barren women? In our age of contraception and abortion, where human life is so cheaply regarded, the plight of the barren woman is possibly incomprehensible – except to those of us in that category. Friends say, in kindly fashion, that there must be some medical procedure which would help, but sometimes there is simply nothing that can be done. For Abraham’s Sarah, Elkanah’s Hannah and Zechariah’s Elizabeth there is the shame of being barren in a world where women were prized mainly for their ability to bear sons; Sarah resents Hagar, and Hannah is mocked by Penninah – only Elizabeth finds a kindly female relative to visit her – another act of kindness from Our Holy Mother.

Mother Mary’s pregnancy was another unexpected one, but in her case because she knew not a man. The Bible gives us some hint of what it must have been like for the young woman. For a betrothed woman to fall pregnant by another man was the equivalent of adultery, so it was actually a sign of Joseph’s righteousness that he did not just divorce her or hand her over to judgment, but was minded to put her aside privately. But it must have been horrid for Mary. She knew she was a virgin, she knew that far from having done wrong, she had been obedient to the word of God, and she had accepted that word, knowing, as she must have done, that it would go hard with her in the eyes of the world. It was only the mercy of God in telling Joseph what had happened that saved her from shame, and even then, we know from the charges brought against the early Christians, that there was a legend that Mary had been violated by Roman soldier; it was known that Joseph was not the child’s father.

God it was who made those who were barren fruitful, just as he makes the desert bloom. God it was who assuaged their longing with a child, just as he assuages our needs in prayer. The world, so long in chains to sin was groaning, even as a woman does in child-bed. So it was that the angel appeared to the young maiden, putting to her God’s word, and she assented – despite what it might have cost her. And on this night, after a long journey with her betrothed, young Mary felt the pangs of birth come on her, and so it was that the Saviour of the World entered into this world in the flesh, not in a palace, but in a stable rude and bare. He came not for earthly glory, but to die upon the Cross to save us from our sins, and his first witnesses were poor shepherds called from their fields – the first so a long line which leads to us, and will lead from us. We are called to be fruitful messengers of His Word.

On this night of nights, let it be so, and let the peace and joy of Christ be with us all, now, and always.


About JessicaHof
Anglican Christian, evangelist, survivor, grateful

3 Responses to Handmaid of the Lord

  1. “that there was a legend that Mary had been violated by Roman soldier; it was known that Joseph was not the child’s father.” I would challenge this so-called legend! If there could have been a whiff of this in Jesus time, then Satan would pressed it to the end, to destroy both Mary and Joseph!

    *Though, I am one that does believe that Joseph was somewhat older (middle-aged?) than Mary when they were betrothed to each each other. And perhaps Joseph was married before? Thus the so-called brothers of Jesus, were Joseph’s earlier sons. This is the tradition of some Eastern Orthodox.

    And btw, lots of middle-aged men had/have children! I was myself both 40 and 46 when my (our) son’s were born.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed ‘the Night of all Nights’, harking back to the Passover also! “For even Christ our passover is sacrificed (slain) for us.” Yes, Jesus/Yeshua was born to die for us-sinners!

      Thanks Jessica to remind us of this greatest truth of all! “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – the Son of of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in HIM.” (John 3: 13-15)

      Liked by 1 person

    • JessicaHof says:

      I’m entirely with you on this, Father 🙂


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

A Paradoxical Millennial

Somewhat-alternative thoughts on Society and Culture


Totally unconditional support for Our Lefty, i.e. Me, friends.

From the Green Notebook

My thoughts on war, warfare, and leadership

Organized Lunacy

Inspiration and motivation for every life situation.


" God cannot alter the past, though Historians can. "

Charlie R. Claywell

Exploring How Being American Affects My World View.


My life as a daughter of the King

Journey Towards Easter

Discovering the beauty of truth

My Daily Musing

With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample our enemies. Psalms 109:13


a story of Southern agriculture

An Unlikely Wanderer

God will give to the soul a new understanding of God in God, the old human understanding being cast aside – and a new love of God in God. - St. John of the Cross

Think Defence

UK Defence Issues and the odd container or two


Writing in words and pictures

The Catechesis of Caroline

A Catholic woman blogging about life

Changing Skin and other stories

Creative Writing and unfinished business...

Omaha News & World Report

Local, National, & World News; Expert Reviews, Biased Commentary, Raw Polls, & Random Musings

Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Joanne Begiato Muses on History

Talking through my research


The view from the Anglosphere

The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Ye Olde Soapbox

News and Views, Stimulus for the masses

World History Blog

The view from the Anglosphere

Watcher of Weasels

Keeping an eye on the weasels of the world

Villainous Company

The view from the Anglosphere

Unedited Politics

Just Political Videos

Two Nerdy History Girls

The view from the Anglosphere

Thomas Sowell's Townhall.com Column

The view from the Anglosphere

Thin Pinstriped Line

The view from the Anglosphere

The Tree of Mamre

Politics, religion, and life. Unapologetically conservative, Christian, and iconoclastic.

The DXZone.com Amateur Radio Internet Guide

The view from the Anglosphere

%d bloggers like this: