Prayer: Holy God, You are with us in our daily lives. In our sitting and in our standing. In our quiet and in our speaking. When You call us may we respond with delight and love and a hearty “Yes Lord”. As we await in the silence and the stillness for the birth of Your Son, involve us in Your incredible acts this day and forever. Gladden our hearts so that we may always listen for Your voice and respond with love in our hearts. Emmanuel. Amen.
Read St Luke 1: 26 – 38
The Birth of Jesus is foretold by the Angel Gabriel to Mary. This is an incredible story. God sends the angel Gabriel to tell a young girl that the LORD is with her. We don’t know how young Mary was but we do know that she was betrothed to be married to Joseph. Luke notes that Joseph is a descendant of David… very important as this is an answer to the Isaiah prophecy that a shoot would come up out of the stump of Jesse. (Jesse was David’s Dad).
The first thing that the Angel Gabriel says to Mary is, “Greetings, you are highly favoured! The Lord is with you” (St Luke 1: 28 NIV Zondervan 1983). Normally when Messengers of God come to us, they have to say, “Fear Not!” Yet here, Gabriel says to Mary, “Greetings!”. What did this mean? This means that throughout her short life, Mary stopped to listen to God. We know this as Gabriel continues by saying, “you are highly favoured”. In other words, Mary lives her life in God. Her life in God is also confirmed when Gabriel says, “The Lord is with you”. Wow. Imagine for a moment a 12 or 13 year old girl from your congregation or community. Would you say that they take time to listen and be with God? We often think that teenagers are not mature enough. But here is God reaching out to a young girl. Incredible!
Is Mary happy happy happy about the Gabriel’s visit? Nope. She is troubled. Not a little troubled but greatly troubled.
Then the Angel Gabriel settles Mary’s troubles by telling her that she has found favour with God. That is good. And then Gabriel tells Mary that she will give birth to a son and call him Jesus. Jesus will be called the Son of the Most High and his kingdom will never end. Instead of Mary running out of the house screaming with “I must be mad”, Mary asks the angel how this will happen as she is still a virgin.
Gabriel tells her that the Holy Spirit will be upon her and the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Gabriel then tells Mary that her relative Elizabeth is also with child.
Gabriel ends his message from God by saying to Mary that nothing is impossible with God. We too this Advent time and Christmas season need to remember that nothing is impossible with God. Nothing is impossible with God. Allelujah!
Prayer: Holy God of all possibilities, incline Your ear to our prayers. May we read and inwardly digest Your Good News. Remind us anew that with You nothing is impossible. Help us to say, “Yes” to Your calling… even if we think it impossible. May we live out our days sharing Your Great Love and peace with those who are in need. May we always lift up our hands to You in humble praise and worship and remember that nothing is impossible with You.