Mary’s Questions

Lord, you have done great things

and holy is your name!

For unto us a child is born

and holy is your name!

For you have shown mercy to your handmaid

and holy is your name!


From the angel’s first appearance

I’ve waited for this moment.

Confident in your plan,

confident that all generations will call me blessed.

Confident, when Joseph doubted me,

when my parents did not understand,

when my friends laughed at me,

and turned the other way.

Confident, in the face of a journey

decreed by Rome’s power,

a journey to this city of David.

Confident even in my labour pains

that you would deliver me.


And tonight I brought forth my first-born son.

Here he lies, in my arms;

a tiny baby, beautiful and perfect.

A future king, you say, destined for a throne.

Here in this stable, a king!

Truly you have exalted those of low degree.


Nine months ago, the angel came

planting words in my heart

The power of the most High overshadowing me.

Tonight that angel appeared again

to shepherds in their fields.

In glory the angel told them of a Saviour

Christ the Lord, born this night.

You appeared to the shepherds

but it is I who need your counsel.

Gabriel, come again to me,

I must question you.


I’ve called my son Jesus.

“Jesus, Son of the Highest,

reigning over the House of David forever,”

those were your words.

But how shall he take his throne?

Who will recognise him?

Joseph and I are ordinary people,

we don’t know how to raise a king!

This night we have become parents

to such a child as this.


The shepherds tell of a star,

will this sign bring help for me?

Of all the babies in Bethlehem tonight

this is the one you’ve destined to bring salvation

and I do not know how this will be accomplished.


This child brings peace on earth,

but my heart is filled with questions.

God, through your tender mercy

calm my fears

and guide my feet into this way of peace.

I am a handmaid of the Lord.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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