Has it ever occurred to you how incredible Mary was? I’m not sure that many people would have been willing to be part of what, if you really think about it, was a crazy idea. She can teach us a great deal about costly obedience and radical faith. I wonder if Mary was the first young woman Gabriel had visited … I hope you enjoy this imagining of what might have happened before Luke 1:26 …God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a young woman, whose name was Mildred. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” Mildred was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mildred; you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him – “You what?” Mildred exclaimed, “Favour with God? Having a baby? you’re having a laugh – I’m a virgin – that’s impossible!” “Well, I was going to get onto that, before you interrupted, so, if I may go on … You are to call the baby Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most – “Yeah, yeah, yeah – so, he’s going to be important – you’ve still not answered my question … how’s this going to happen – I’m a virgin … I don’t know if anyone’s told you about biology – you know, the birds and the bees – can we just skip to that bit, please?” Gabriel sighed. “If you had let me finish, I was about to tell you …” “Well, go on,” Mildred said, arms crossed, “I’m all ears … this better be good,” she muttered under her breath. “I heard that!” Gabriel retorted, “Anyway, as I was about to say, - The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy – “Can I just stop you there –” Mildred interrupted once more. “If you must” “Honestly, you’re off your rocker. It’s a loopy idea. I’ve never heard anything so crazy in all my life – in fact, it’s the stupidest plan I’ve ever heard.” “So, you’re not going to do it? Even though you’re highly favoured?” Gabriel asked? “That’s right, you’ve found the wrong virgin – Now get out of my house!” Mildred shouted, opened the door and ushered the bemused angel out of her house. Gabriel sighed. He pulled a pen and crumpled piece of paper out of his pocket. The paper had a list of names on it. “Another one bites the dust,” he muttered, “God won’t be pleased. Can’t say I’m too surprised though, it does seem like a bit of a crazy plan to me, but what do I know, I’m just the messenger! Who’s next? There can’t be many more virgins in Nazareth!” Gabriel looked down at his paper once more, “Oh, Mary. I hope we have better luck with her.” With that, the angel flew off to another unsuspecting young girl, hoping for a more positive result.