Advent Journeys – 2

Gabriel visits Mary

There are many things that emphasise the importance and significance of the birth of Jesus, the Saviour of the World and surely not the least of these are the two journeys that Gabriel makes from the ‘presence of God’ to two ordinary people going about their daily lives.

In the first of this series of blogs we focussed on Gabriel’s meeting with Zechariah in Jerusalem and today the focus moves to Nazareth and ‘a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.

We are not given any details of how he came to the home, or his appearance  but being who he was, and Zechariah’s reaction, we may deduce that his appearance was awesome! His opening words however were gentle and reassuring ‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’

In spite of this Luke 2.29, Mary was greatly troubled. Wouldn’t we all have been? This was something, the like of which she could not have imagined. The wording of the greeting puzzled her v.29 but when Gabriel spoke the words of Almighty God to her, things took on a totally different focus.

The opening words are one which we find frequently in Scripture ‘Do not be afraid’. When God calls we have nothing to fear as he spells out  his plans and purposes for us.

Nonetheless as Mary heard what God was going to do with her and for her she must have been awestruck so that all she could stammer out was ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’

Considering the revelation to her of the greatness of the one she was to bear, it was perhaps all she could think of but surely there was more than this, for note her more considered response in v.38 ‘Behold I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.

Writing to the Church in Ephesus, Paul tells the believers  ‘We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,  which God has prepared in advance for us to do’ Ephesians 2.10

Does that not perfectly describe Mary? One of the things for which she was created was to be the mother of the Son of God and she responded  ‘Behold I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’

We cannot rank the works that we are called to do in order of greatness or importance although what Mary was called to would seem to be at the top. However it is not the task that we should focus on so much as our response when God calls us.

May our ears  be open to God’s call however it is brought to us and our response be that of Mary in v.38 ‘Behold I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’

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