Most people dislike the Old Testament. All the judgment, killing, destruction can make it pretty harsh. I actually like it and find it inspirational and interesting. Not the violence part, although in the context of the time, it isn’t as shocking as it is today. The thing that I find so appealing about the Old Testament is that God works with the people within their cultures in ways that they understand. Over and over, there is punishment, war, and judgment. But, over and over, there are chances and pleas, sorrow and redemption as God tries to draw them closer to Him. All of which makes the life of Jesus an incredible shock wave into that world of struggle. We can still go the way of the Old Testament, but we have been given a new way. One of peace. One of love. One of sacrifice. One of righteousness that is available to every one of us. As Mary prepared for Jesus’ birth, the world hadn’t changed much from the Old Testament times. But it was about to.