One of the most well known parts of the Christmas story is in our reading for today. It takes place at the moment in time when Gabriel had the conversation with Mary. We’ve heard the story so many times the impact of what really happened is diminished. Put yourself in Mary’s place for a few minutes. She is outside gathering sticks for the fire, or helping with the evening meal. Maybe she’s inside wondering if she’ll get to sleep that night. Mary is thinking about what it will mean to be so young and yet become the wife of Joseph. After their marriage she would no longer live with her parents in a familiar home where her needs were met. She would move to Joseph’s house and they would be a family. When would their first baby arrive? How many babies would they have together? Hmmmm…..what would her days be like then? Then Wham! Right in the middle of her dreamy thoughts a loud voice startles her. “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Are you kidding me? What’s going on? Who is that? Who is he talking to? I need to get out of here! Where can I run? Think, Mary! Where can I be safe? But then the voice of the angel soothes her and using her own name, speaks peace to her and instills confidence so she no longer wants to run and hide, but instead wants to listen. This miracle would never happen again – but the lesson of it continues. God still speaks. He might not use a visiting angel, but God speaks to us in other ways. Do we wait quietly and listen? “The Lord is with you.”
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 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, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 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.
All is Well, All is Well let there be peace on Earth, Christ has come …. Michael W. Smith & Carrie Underwood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc7AXcvJfuc