Since this is the Christmas season and only a short time until Christmas Day, I would like us to focus on events relative to that celebration in our upcoming devotionals. In particular I would like to examine the people who took part in that first Christmas, the birth of our Lord, and their reactions to it. In so doing, I hope that we can get some insight into our own feelings and emotions relating to the season.
In the sixth month God sent the angel Gabriel . . . to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph.
Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman!
The Lord is with you!”
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.
He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High…
His Kingdom will never end!”
Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God . . . For nothing is impossible with God.”
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. Luke 1:26-38
Wow! Can you imagine having an angel visit you? Like Mary, you probably would be a little apprehensive, wondering why he was there! Put yourself in her place for a moment and try to think the way she may have thought. You’re busy, going about your everyday life when suddenly an angel appears right in front of you! To say you’re surprised would be an understatement! Afraid…of course! Apprehensive…no doubt! Confused… inevitably! Well, Mary experienced all of those things as well. But the most important thing recorded relative to Mary’s reaction was submission…obedience to the will of God, and after that…overwhelming peace and joyful anticipation.
We can learn a valuable lesson from Mary’s story. Often when new or unexpected circumstances appear in our lives, we are initially taken by surprise. Then fear tries to grip us, as we become apprehensive about the outcome. Sometimes we are confused, thinking, “Why me?” But if we can ultimately get to the point where we turn it all over to God and submit to His divine will and purpose…if we can trust in His loving kindness and mercy that is new every morning, how can anything but hope arise in our heart? Then, as with Mary, surely overwhelming peace and joyful anticipation of good things to come will follow!
“. . . For nothing is impossible with God.”