Monday, December 8, 2008

Jesus' Birth Announced

During Elizabeth's sixth month of pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin. She was engaged to marry a man named Joseph from the family of David. Her name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, "Greetings! The Lord has blessed you and is with you."
But Mary was very startled by what the angel said and wondered what this greeting might mean.
The angel said to her, "Don't be afraid, Mary; God has shown you His grace. Listen! You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of King David, His ancestor. He will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will never end."
Mary said to the angel, "How will this happen since I am a virgin?"
The angel said to Mary, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you. For this reason the baby will be holy and will be called the Son of God."
Gabriel was never one to question, but this time he had to wonder. God will become a baby? That's okay for humans, he thought to himself. But God? The heavens can't contain Him; how could a body?
But Gabriel had his orders. Take the message to Mary. Must be a special girl, he assumed as he traveled. But Gabriel was in for another shock. The mother-to-be of God was not regal. She was a Jewish peasant who'd barely outgrown her acne and had a crush on a guy named Joe. It was all Gabriel could do to keep from turning back. "This is a peculiar idea you have, God," he must have muttered to himself.
Are God's guardians given to such musings? Are we? Only heaven knows how long Gabriel fluttered unseen above Mary before he took a breath and broke the news. But he did. He told her the name. He told her the plan. He told her not to be afraid. And when he announced, "With God nothing is impossible!" he said it as much for himself as for her.
Remember from the message yesterday, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God all things are possible."
I continue to pray for God to use us to accomplish the impossible. What an opportunity and privilege we have. Don't miss it!

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