Fourth Week of Advent – LOVE
Luke 1: 26-38 (Message)
26-28 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:
Good morning! You’re beautiful with God’s beauty, Beautiful inside and out! God be with you.
29-33 She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.
He will be great, be called ‘Son of the Highest.’ The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David; He will rule Jacob’s house forever— no end, ever, to his kingdom.”
34 Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”
35 The angel answered,
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you; Therefore, the child you bring to birth will be called Holy, Son of God.
36-38 “And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.”
And Mary said,
Yes, I see it all now: I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say.
Then the angel left her.
Here it is — Christmas is five days away. Wasn’t it yesterday that we were in our shorts and washing the car?
Are we ready?
Are you ready for Christmas>
Got your shopping done?
Wrapped all the gifts yet?
Are we ready?
Was Mary ready?
Not yet married
Child or Young Woman
Was Mary ready?
The story goes – that God chose a simple – ordinary young woman – or should I say young girl – she was probably about 12 – It is a great age, and a difficult age.
When young bodies are changing fast and in so many ways, Remember being that age….some of us had growth spurts making for gawky limbs and fighting to get our balance sort of like standing in the ocean and waves come in and the undertow pulling us out.. before we adjusted to one change, another change came along.
Mary was between childhood and young adulthood.
Struggling to make the crossover from playing house with her friends and learning how to make a home….Life as she knew it changed in a blink of an eye when she experienced a God moment… Here was an ordinary child, from an ordinary family living in a less than ordinary city called Nazareth.
She was probably an obedient child – dreaming of becoming a wife and mother and make a home for her promised husband, Joseph, a poor carpenter.
What qualified her to be called for such a mission?
What made her the one above all of the others?
Wouldn’t you imagine she asked the same questions? Why me? How can I ?
Why didn’t God choose a woman who was already a mature woman… already a mother and someone who was of high regard and a member of the royalty?So Jesus could have come into this world – already at a high level of respect and honor…
Well, God did it again…
He called the ORDINARY —
like when he called
Noah, Moses, Aaron, David, Esther, Judith, Elijah, Isaiah….
God called Mary… someone ORDINARY to do the EXTRA-Ordinary…
He called the plain and simple — the unqualified… and then QUALIFIED THEM.
What does this tell us?
How does this encourage us?
ONE – God doesn’t expect perfection –
TWO – God doesn’t seek out the QUALIFIED
THREE – God meets us where we are… and uses us as we are…..
God met Mary where she was –
And with her faith and trust in God, she became an instrument for God’s kingdom.
Since that day, Mary has been ‘blessed among many’—-
And not ONLY BECAUSE she gave birth to Jesus
But also because Mary shows us that everything is possible with God.
NO matter how ordinary – unqualified – inadequate – or inept we may think we are….
Anything is possible with GOD…. Thanks be to Mary