Advent Devotion, 12/14/22
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
I once read a children’s book that showed a picture of the angel, Gabriel, greeting Mary while she mopped. She was so surprised that she spilled her bucket of water. On what was a quiet and ordinary day for Mary, she met an angel sent by God, who affirmed her as blessed and favored.
The angel noticed Mary’s troubled disposition and immediately delivered the good news. Gabriel told her she will give birth to a son and name him Jesus. He will reign over a kingdom that will never end.
Mary, who was engaged to be married, asked, “how will this be… since I am a virgin?” (v34). The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God (v35).
The angel’s announcement ended with, “for no word from God will ever fail” (v37).
Mary responded with the acknowledgment of her being the Lord’s servant and indicated acceptance of the words spoken to her.
Being blessed and favored doesn’t exempt us from near impossible assignments. The Holy Spirit was present with Mary during hers and is with us in ours. Are you listening to his voice while in the middle of driving, exercising, or cleaning? When you hear Him, will you choose to humbly accept your assignment?
Lord God, you reign forever and ever. Forgive me when I complain about my responsibilities. Thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit. Help me to be comfortable with silence until you reveal my next assignment. May the Spirit empower me to trust in you and joyfully embrace your plans for me. May your word to me be fulfilled this Advent season. Amen.
ADVENT PLAYLIST SONG
“Wonder,” Graham Jones, “Good News, Great Joy”