ADVENT, Week 3

Today’s ADVENT focus is my favorite! Don’t get me wrong…they are all AMAZING and powerful. Each holds a very important and crucial aspect of the ADVENT of Jesus Christ.

None is more important than another as each carries out its own vital role in the anticipation of Jesus’ arrival.

But today we talk about a young woman who has her entire life in front of her. As a young Jewish woman her life is just beginning. She has been promised, engaged to a young Jewish man, Joseph. Her dreams of being chosen and desired have come true. She is full of anticipation of a life filled with hope and promise.

Suddenly, that life is abruptly interrupted!  

“Gabriel appeared to her, (Mary), and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” 

Mary is going about her everyday life, planning and dreaming of her wedding day. She falls asleep after a full day of preparations to be awakened by an angel!

In the book of Luke, chapter 1 verse 29, it tells us that she was, “CONFUSED and DISTURBED.”  

Now that is an understatement if I’ve ever heard one!

I can think of a few more words to describe being awakened by an angel in the middle of the night…scared, freaked out, stunned…just to name a few!

The angel speaks words of comfort to her next and explains his visit.

“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.  The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David. And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end.”  Luke 1:30-33

Does any of this sound familiar to you? 

A visit from an angel.

A proclamation.

A miracle that only God could bring about.

Our friend Zechariah from last week’s ADVENT blog was also visited by an angel.

There are similarities between both announcements. Both did indeed receive a visit from an angel of God and both were also startled (Now this point seems obvious to me, they were woken up in the middle of the night by a heavenly being, but it is a similarity nonetheless)! Both were commanded to “Not be afraid,” and both were told they would have a son.They both also knew that this would be humanly impossible. It could only be accomplished by God!

The similarities are hard to miss. But it is the difference that makes this ADVENT story my favorite!

When Zachariah is visited by the angel and told he would have a son he basically asks for proof.

When Mary is visited by an angel and told she would have a son she responds with FAITH,

“How will you do it?”  Luke 1:34

Mary believes and demonstrates her FAITH with a FAITH filled question!

She does not try to weasel her way out of it. She does not ask what this will cost her. She does not question the God she knows and loves, she simply asks, HOW?

This announcement would cost Mary every dream and plan she had made for her life.

The angel answers her and tells her that The Holy Spirit of God will come upon her and the power of The Most High God will overshadow her in Luke 1:35.

Mary’s response to the angels answer is one of the most profound statements of Faith;

“Mary responded, “I am The Lords’ servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”  Luke 1:38

TRUTH BOMB

MARY RESPONDED WITH FAITH INSTEAD OF FEAR!

The trajectory of her life is forever changed! Her future marriage and livelihood is in jeopardy. Her social standing and credibility are ruined! Yet her FAITH is strong and firm.

What is our RESPONSE to Christmas? When we know that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus Christ arriving on earth as God’s own Son to save us from our sins, how do we respond?

I pray that this year I will respond with greater Faith. I will cease to be overwhelmed and overcome by stresses, situations and sadnesses, and I will instead embrace the anticipation of Jesus coming and of His return!

Speak Truth Love

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