#Advent 3 announcements we never expect
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 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. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; 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. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 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.
I expect Mary needed a sit down and a cup of tea after that. What a huge thing to happen to her. In a moment her life had changed forever, and as she began to consider the implications of what the Angel had said, her faith must have been tested again and again.
The bible doesn’t record the conversation between Mary and Joseph, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that it was one painful and difficult conversation. Notice, Joseph isn’t told by God until Mary has told him, that the child is of the Holy Spirit.
We may not be visited by angels and given a task of utmost importance, but most of us have had something, some news, which has changed out lives forever. Good or bad, we are never the same again. We have to pick ourselves up and begin our lives all over again, from a different place than before. It can be a great challenge.
Just as Mary declared she was the Lord’s servant, so can we. Regardless of how easy or hard the journey is, if we hand ourselves over to God, we can walk in the company of the Saviour.
A craft for today:
Get in a festive mood with Christmas tree pancakes, amongst other cheesy ideas: