Today I want us to think about Mary’s answer to the angel. What if an angel appeared before you and asked you to do something that would shake you to the core and change your life forever? Would you hesitate? Would you wonder if the whole thing was not real? You would have to endure the disdain and censure of everyone you knew. You could end up being an outcast or stoned to death.
I am not sure what my answer would be. What would you do?
Luke 1:34-38, 46-55
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[b] 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.
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
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.”
Mary had to be an amazing woman. First of all seeing an angel would be enough by itself and yet the scripture did not say the fainted or ran away. It says she was troubled. I would have been more that troubled.
The angel then goes on to tell her that she will become pregnant and give birth to a son. Since Mary was not married this had to be frightening. What will people think? How will I explain to Joseph? What will happen to me?
And yet Mary listens to the angel and believes. Could you?
The past few weeks I have been blessed with what I call “God moments.” These are times when with eyes open we can see God working. One was at a visit to meet a surgeon and schedule surgery on my thyroid. In my experience most surgeons are good at their job but not the greatest at bedside manner. This physician was the exception. He made me feel heard, understood and I could sense his compassion. The surgery is not a difficult one as long as it goes as expected.
Following seeing him I was ushered to someone to schedule the surgery. In her cubicle there were Biblical quotes and words of encouragement.She was kind caring and efficient. My surgery was scheduled for the week following Thanksgiving. She remembered my desire to have it over as soon as possible and when the Dr. decided to work on this Friday called to offer that date to me. I accepted with pleasure that she remembered. She then took the time to pray for me and my surgery.
As another of my friends says “the arangels were at work.” I could see God’s hand in all that has happened and pray for the best outcome. God is present in our lives if we just take the time to see it.
Yesterday I experienced a “God moment.” I was at a physicians office and he indicated I needed to schedule some surgery. The surgery is a simple one but you never know what will be found. A woman came and led me to her desk to set everything up. I was moved by the fact that in her cubicle there were wonderful quotes from the Bible and other words of encouragement. I mentioned that I was happy to see those words in a somewhat stressful moment. She and I began to talk about our faith and her compassion and caring were present in every word. Before I left she and I hugged.
We wonder if we can see Jesus in our everyday lives but he is visible in people we meet. He was there with us as we talked and shared. Open your eyes. Jesus is there.
A while back I wrote about how we can view something as a coincidence or a miracle. I told about one of my friends who says that the “arangels” are the organizers of wonderful happenings. These things are God moments.
My husband and I have some repairs to our house planned and have set aside money for this but you know how plans go. Another major repair came up and we didn’t plan for it. However, the arangels planned for my son and friends of his to take on the repair and we will only have to pay for parts. This is a God moment. It is a big job and my son scarcely has time with his own work schedule to take on anything else but he did.
Sometimes things happen that we can just call coincidence…things just falling into place…but I prefer to call them miracles.
None of us is perfect. We all make mistakes. God knows that we cannot be perfect. He doesn’t expect it. He forgives our mistakes. Mistakes are fine as long as we learn from them. Hopefully we won’t make the same mistakes more than once.
1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. 2 I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
We read these words but do we follow them? How often do we tell about the thing the Lord has done for us? I have mentioned before that a friend calls God’s intervention in our lives “the arangels at work.” I try to remember to share how that happens in my life but usually only with those who understand it. I need to share more with others. They may scoff and tell me it’s “coincidence” but that’s fine. Maybe they will see my belief as “something more.”
Tell about God’s marvelous works. He continues to work today. Sing his praises!
Amazing God, thank you for your work in our lives. Remind us to share it with others. AMEN
It doesn’t matter if you believe in angels. The question is do you believe that miracles still happen? I happen to be one of the people who do. Our expectation of miracles is skewed. The Bible only included major miracles but there are the everyday ones. The ones that you only see if you have your eyes open to God’s works. Pay attention. There still are miracles!
Amazing God, you didn’t stop miracles happening. They still do. Thank you for your loving hand in the world. AMEN