December 7th–The Angel
34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Lk. 1:34-37)
Reflection (Eric Hansen):
I love my job. I mean, I get to deliver the actual word of God to His people. They don’t always like what I have to say– but what a privilege.
My visits around Jesus’ birth were my favorite. I knew the Mary and Joseph visits would be tough. Telling Mary that she would be the mother of the Savior…
I always start with “Don’t be afraid” – I get it – that’s everyone’s first reaction. “How can this be?” was Mary’s totally normal, reaction. She knew it wasn’t going to be easy, or convenient or popular. But then, her sweet, strong faith and her obedience to God took over. She was amazing– the perfect choice.
I chose a dream encounter for my visit to Joseph. Telling him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife was also totally against the norms of society. But he never hesitated. The faith and obedience of those two Jewish kids was incredible. Through all the whispers behind their back and public ridicule, they never wavered. They were totally committed to God, and each other.
You know the story of Jesus’ birth? What a night! My next in-person appearance was to the shepherds. “Don’t be afraid” (Third time’s the charm, right?). Then, the good news of Jesus’ birth. Those hard-working laborers heard the news first. Interesting, isn’t it, that God chose them and not the rich and famous? It was pretty cool having them be Jesus’ first visitors.
And, finally, one more dream encounter. I warned the wise men to use a different route back home, to throw off Herod!
I am thankful for each of these visits, and the stories that they tell. And together, they are the greatest story ever told.
Oh and, by the way, I’m still around – ready to visit and dream.
What do you dream of this week?
God of surprises, prepare us for your visit, as we wait to become part of your story. In Jesus’ name, Amen.