“God sent the angel Gabriel…(with) a message for a young woman … her name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, ‘Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!’”
Lk 1:26, 27, 28 GNB
The events of Christmas focus on Mary and the miracle God intended to bring about in her body and through her obedience. The first movement is when God sends his angel with his message to her. It is important for believing Christians to latch on to the centrality of God in the whole story. Gabriel is God’s messenger. The message Gabriel brings is God’s message. Mary is God’s chosen servant.
Long before the apostles went out with God’s message to the people of Antioch, Ephesus and Thessalonica, and long before Jesus went out into Galilee with the message of the Kingdom of God, Gabriel brought God’s message to Mary. The visit of the angel to Mary was the beginning of a mighty act of God. Beautiful – and at times almost romantic! – as we so often make the story of Christmas out to be, we must never obscure this supreme fact – it was all a mighty act of God the Father, from beginning to end. The other players in the drama are “bit parts”.
Throughout the Bible God is coming to people with his message. To one, Abraham, God commands him to move to a new place. To another, Moses, he commands him to lead his people out of slavery. To the prophets he gave a contemporary message. It went on and on.
And it still does. God always has a message. He may be wanting you to receive and hand on that message in this day and age. Will you hear, hold and hand on God’s message of Jesus?
Lord, help me to hear your message this Christmas.
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
I pray today Lord for family members who have ageing relatives whose health is obviously deteriorating. Help them to understand that their love and attention is so important to their loved one who looks forward to seeing them more than anything. I ask it in Jesus’ name. AMEN