The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High . The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month for who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God. 38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
When you are asked to take on a responsibility, whether large or small, what do you typically do? If you are like me, you ask for a few days to think about it. You analyze, list the pros and cons, and weigh the risks and rewards. Then you give your answer. Sometimes we are afraid to say “YES.” And then there are other times when you know your answer immediately. No analyzing necessary – it is YES.
In our Scripture reading for today this was the case. Mary was presented with a huge responsibility. She did not analyze or hesitate. Her answer on the spot was a resounding YES – “Here I am, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word.”
It’s not important to debate the miracle of how Mary became pregnant or whether it was a virgin birth. The important thing here is that she listened to and followed ….
What makes the difference in our answers? Do we listen to the Holy Spirit, the Christ in ourselves?
Grace and Peace,
As we enter the Advent season, we begin our wait for the coming Messiah. This year’s devotional offers a daily passage of scripture and a reflection written by a member of our congregation. I am so grateful to all those who contributed and worked on this project. It is our intention that these daily devotionals become a way to connect with our church and our Creator in meaningful ways.
I hope this devotional book becomes a part of your daily Advent celebration and study. While Advent is a time of waiting and preparation, it is also a time of change and beginning of something new. God turned the world upside down when God sent Christ into the world. So we encourage you to think of Advent as a time of comfort and joy but also a chance to see the world and God’s word anew as we wait on Emmanuel – God with us.
Associate Pastor for Christian Formation