Advent Pilgrimage – Week 4

This year I am sharing some Advent Reflections online. The theme is Pilgrimage. I have to confess that I wrote these a few years ago, and have no idea what the inspiration I used was. My apologies if I have inadvertently plagiarised anyone else’s work, but the setting is definitely mine.

This week – The New King is Coming

luke 1:26-38

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, favoured 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 favour 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 for ever, 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.

If you prefer the text version:

Handing yourself over to God …

I wonder if Mary realised, as the angel spoke to her, how far-reaching and momentous this event was.  She must have been totally ‘gob smacked’.  How would you feel if God came to tell you in that something totally impossible was going to happen in your life?  Something that should make no sense?

I wonder how long it took for it to dawn on Mary that this child was the fulfilment of an ancient promise.  That this baby was the Messiah, the ‘Son of the Most High God’ the one whom the prophets had foretold, and the one for whom the people, with mounting despair, had waited for through the long centuries.

Angels in the bible are God’s messengers.  They speak on his authority.  They are also signs of his presence with his people.

For Mary, and her fiancé Joseph, Gabriel’s visit and his words, would change things for ever.  What was asked of them was an act of supreme obedience – Mary’s response, ‘I am the Lord’s servant; may it happen to me as you have said.’

How do you respond to the presence of God in your life?  How do you respond when God asks something of you?

Grant to us Lord, like Mary, a faith that takes you at your word and seeks to do your will.  Lord, whatever you ask of me, I am your servant, may it happen to me as you have said.

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~ by pamjw on December 22, 2022.

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