Our Blogkeep up to date with the latest

Advent Readings: Day 17

For this Advent season we offer you a Bible reading for each day which points to the first coming of the Lord Jesus at Christmas and his return in glory!

Luke 1:26 - 38

26In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32He 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, 33and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35The 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 the Son of God. 36Even 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. 37For 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.

A few comments

I know someone who opens their Christmas presents with 2 boxes in front of him, one marked ‘keep’ the other marked ‘charity shop.’ Presents are unwrapped and unwanted presents are tossed straight into the charity shop box. At least he doesn’t sell them on E-Bay… Familiarity can dull us to just how unwanted the first Christmas present ever given truly was. In verse 30 the angel Gabriel appears to Mary to tell her that she is ‘highly favoured’ by God. What can that mean? Maybe God will cover the costs of her upcoming wedding to Joseph? Or perhaps he’s going to pay for 5* Honeymoon to the Maldives? Or will he ensure that they have lots of healthy children once they are married? What can it mean…? You’re going to have a baby before you even get married. Oh.

How on earth can that be good news? How can this possibly be a sign of God’s favour? Because the baby will be named ‘Jesus’, which means ‘God saves.’ He will be the Son of the most High God, and he will reign on the throne of his ancestor David. This baby may be hugely inconvenient to the engaged girl Mary, but he will be the saviour that all humanity desperately need.

How can we fit the Old Testament promises of an anointed saviour king in the line of David (the Messiah) fit with the promises that God himself would come to save his people? We can’t. But God did. He became the child in the line of David. By the power of the Holy Spirit Mary’s baby would be both a human descendent of David, and God in human flesh.

Point for Prayer

Praise God for his wonderful plan and the hope-filled statement of verse 37 that ‘nothing is impossible with God!