Friday, January 08 2021
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 (Luke1:26-38).
One of the greatest surprises in the story of God’s coming into our midst is that God did not choose a queen or a princess to be the mother of God’s Son. In fact, God chose a very unlikely person. Instead of choosing royalty from a high and mighty family, God chose a lowly maid. In a period of history that emphasized the importance of age, God chose a young virgin. In an empire where wealth was power, God chose a poor servant, betrothed to a Jewish carpenter.
God comes to ordinary people with an incredible plan to bring God’s reign in heaven on earth. As we look at the many ways God has come to people in the past, we can see a pattern in their response. Mary says, “Here I am Lord, let it be according to your will.” There is an incredible relinquishing of control that takes place when we faithfully say these words. I am convinced that giving up control to God is one of the most important keys to deepening our relationship with God and following God’s will and purpose for our lives.
God comes into this broken Covid world to make it whole. Mary was uniquely favored to be the “Holy Mother of God” the Theotokos or God bearer. God comes to ordinary people, but the grace given to Mary is especially unique, because in a short time, God will come from heaven to earth in a way that God has never come to earth before. A child is to be born very soon. God wants to heal this broken world through turning people’s lives and hearts to God’s will. God’s reign on earth can only come when people turn control of their lives over to God. At St. John’s we are drawing closer to God through out outreach, worship, and prayer. Please join us this Sunday for a zoom Christmas Concert. I know zoom and facebook live are not the same as being at church in the Christmas season, but we have a unique opportunity in a time of deep distress to turn again to God. Let’s make this Christmas extra special by patiently waiting for God to come into the world and into our hearts. God also waits patiently for ordinary people like you and me to be part of this incredible plan. We are simply asked to be faithful to God’s plan and either say yes or no to God’s will. My hope is that this Christmas our faithful response will be to say, “Here I am Lord, let it be according to your will.”.
In Christ’s love,