Note: For the next few days we are going to double
back to the early chapters of Luke so we can refocus on the details of the birth narrative.
We covered this territory in our early reading but now we can recapture the actual
accounts of Mary, Joseph, and the Christ Child as we
revisit the Bethlehem manger.
Let’s take a close look at the baby Jesus!
Luke 1:26-38 Wednesday, December 22, 2010
This is the account that sets the ultimate redemptive act of God into motion. Luke takes great effort to detail the conversation between Mary and the angel Gabriel. It begins with a holy “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary listens with a troubled and anxious heart as Gabriel assures her that there is nothing to fear. But the news he brings to her would create apprehension in the heart of any human. No matter how worthy the person (or in this case – unworthy) the message is both marvelous and mysterious. Either way, it is the start of God’s plan to transform the world through the gift of grace. It is salvation history coming to fulfillment through the life and faithfulness of Mary.
Our Methodist protestant tradition does not honor or elevate Mary in the fashion of the Roman Catholic Church. However, it does not take much spiritual thought to celebrate and give thanks for her faithful response that unfolded in a very complex situation. It really is a remarkable moment in time when the holiness of God is communicated through an angel and received by a humble human.
We will gather for candlelight communion services in our worship center on Friday evening to celebrate Christmas Eve. The next day we will walk through family traditions that may include gifts, a special meal, family visits, special phone calls, and maybe a bit of an afternoon nap. No matter what traditions you follow, I invite you to ponder this: Is my life open to the will of God, and is my personal response one of immediate faithfulness?