The Fifth Day of Advent
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. Luke 1:26-38 (NLT)
As I read these verses, events are happening worldwide where evil, mated to chaos, appears to be on the advance. Much as it was in Mary’s day, wolves are at the door. At that time, for Mary, for Israel, for all men, the situation seemed hopeless and insurmountable.
But Hope was on the move and the impossible was happening quickly. An elderly couple who had been barren for decades was expecting a child. A small, backwater village would produce the Savior of all mankind. A young teenage virgin was chosen to be the mother of the Son of God. And this Holy Baby would rule forever.
This was all so unfathomable that it caused Mary’s head to spin. Mary spoke for all mankind when she asked, “how can this happen?” How can the impossible happen? The answer was succinct and to the point, “nothing is impossible with God.” Only the Most High God could sow these seeds of Hope in the midst of advancing evil. The world could only watch and wonder as the Holy Spirit moved at breakneck speed.
What was Mary’s response to God’s impossible Hope? This poor, uneducated, unsophisticated teenage girl chose to let go of her reputation, her family and her own plans for the future, in order to place herself completely into the hands of God. In our own impossible situations we can we follow Mary’s example, we can let go and trust in the God of impossible hope.
This week’s Re:Verse passage is Matthew 1:18 – 2:12