Photo by Walter Chávez on Unsplash
As we prepare for Christmas amidst the cacophony of Christmas parties, decorations, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, all in the name of “getting ready for the holidays,’ let’s not forget the simple, powerful story of a poor young woman and her example of radical faith and obedience to God.
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him 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 ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom, there will be no end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
The angel said to 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 holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.
For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. Luke 1:26-38
The real message of Christmas
The message of Christianity is not a message of humanity’s ability to find God, or reach God. The message of Christianity is that God finds us. God found Mary. God’s initiative, not ours.
Prayer: God in heaven, once again I’m struck with your awesome power today. Not only did you create all things, but you sustain them right up to the present moment. My next breath and next heartbeat depend on you. Not only that, my most difficult problems disappear when you act. Nothing is impossible with you. May I live today with that belief firmly in mind. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.