Tuesday 20 December 2016

Bible Book:

“Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.” (v. 28)

Luke 1:26-38 Tuesday 20 December 2016

Psalm: Psalm 24


The stories of Zechariah and Elizabeth, on the one hand, andMary, on the other, are woven together throughout this chapter.Thus we are to see that the ministry of John the Baptist and theministry of Jesus are connected. However it is also clearthroughout that Jesus will have pre-eminence.

Once again we may struggle to envisage the meeting betweenGabriel and Mary. Unsurprisingly Mary is at first troubled by theencounter, but her concerns centre round the angel's words ratherthan his presence. The thought that she is highly favoured by Godand that the Lord is with her unnerves her (verse 29). We are givenno hint at this point that she moved in particularly religiouscircles, and thus talk of God's favour would have been totallyunexpected.

Nevertheless, by way of reassurance Gabriel repeats that she ischosen to bear one who "will be great and will be called Son of theMost High" (v. 32). In the town of Nazareth, which had a very mixedpopulation, and at a time when the nation was under Roman rule, thepromise to Mary that her child would fill the throne of David andthat his kingdom would never end must have sounded like purefantasy.

Yet Mary, unlike Zechariah, doesn't challenge her angelicmessenger for a sign. Rather she asks the reasonable question ofhow this can come about (verse 34). In response she is offered thesign of Elizabeth's pregnancy and trusts herself, withoutreservation, to God.

To Ponder

  • On the face of it Mary, who was most likely a young peasantgirl living in a town far from the centre of religious influence,is an unlikely agent of God's will, and yet is the one who ischosen. Where have you seen God using people whom you didn't expecthim to use?
  • Repeat quietly and slowly Mary's words "I am the Lord'sservant." As you do so reflect on how that attitude will affect youin all that lies before you today.
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