“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:26-38 ESV
This week’s Lamb and Light edition is the second in our four part advent special. Last week we focused on the ideology of Jesus’s arrival and what it actually means for us in the here and now. This week, I would like us to examine the conversation between Mary and the angel Gabriel and look at what lessons we can learn and apply to our Christian journey.
Today’s reading will be familiar to many of us. Whether that’s because we’ve read it ourselves or seen it acted out in a film or a nativity play. In today’s passage, we read of the angel Gabriel visiting Mary and giving her the news that she has been chosen by God to carry and give birth to Jesus. During their dialogue, the angel Gabriel declared the following instructions/promises to Mary:
Told her not to be afraid
She had found favour with God
She was going to conceive and give birth to a son
She will call His name Jesus
He will be great and called Son of the Most High
The Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David
He will reign over the house of Jacob forever
His kingdom will have no end
What is interesting is that Mary’s first reaction when the angel appeared was that of fear and how is any of this possible, as she was a virgin. How many of us when we have received a word from God have gone into fear or how is it possible mode? Perhaps like Mary, God has giving you a word regarding a family situation, or a circumstance at work or maybe He has placed inside of you an innovative idea that has the ability to take the world by storm.
Whatever it is, your response shouldn’t be one of fear or “how will this be.” This is because like Mary, God has favoured you. He has elected you to be apart of the body of Christ and has not given you a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Finally, but most importantly as the angel Gabriel said to Mary, with God all things are possible! If He can impregnate a virgin and cause her to give birth to the saviour of the world, what more can He do for you!
Advent is for the fearless
Advent is for the favoured
Advent is for the impossible