Zechariah returned home from his dramatic incident at the Temple in Jerusalem. Since he was now speechless, he had to gesture to his wife and write his amazing news.
Sure enough, Elizabeth conceived in her old age and declared,
“The Lord has done this for me. In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people. Luke 1:25
Like Sarah and Hannah of old, it was a disgrace not to bear children. She rejoiced to feel this life inside her body. Talk about a God-incident!
When Elizabeth reached her sixth month, the Lord had another special job for the angel, Gabriel.
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:26-28
Like Zechariah, Mary was also fearful and startled by this sudden appearance and these words. Gabriel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” Luke 1:30-31
My guess again is that she, like Zechariah, stopped listening at this point. but Gabriel proceeded.
“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, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:32-33
Thinking in practical terms, Mary asked,
“How will this be since I am a virgin?” Luke 1:34
I told you her mind had stopped on “You will have a child.” Somehow her demeanor and her tone did not have the same kind of skepticism that Gabriel heard from Zechariah. Gabriel gently explained,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35
Even if Mary can’t quite take in the magnitude of these words, she must have had a willing spirit. Perhaps she began to ponder, what about Joseph? What will the people say? How do I explain this to mama and papa? Gabriel seems to know her anxiety and gave her comforting news about someone who could identify with her.
“Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a baby in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”
Ah, there is our thought again. “Nothing is impossible with God!” What a mixture of feelings and thoughts Mary must have had.
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:36-38
I wonder how she told her mother about this. Did her mother believe her?
And then there is the unbelievable story about Elizabeth, her relative. At some point the decision was made that Mary and maybe her mother would make a trip to Elizabeth’s.
Isn’t it wonderful how God gives us special people in our lives? People to whom we want to go when our world turns upside down—someone to advise or simply be a listener and comforter.
Is there someone who is special to you? Would this be a good time to tell them how you appreciate them? What better time than Christmas to write them a note, give them a personal gift, take them out to eat—someway to express your love for them.
~ Joyce ~