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Mary and the Angel
12/18/2019 6:00:00 AM by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Mary was a young woman who lived in first century Palestine. She considered herself fortunate to be engaged to Joseph. He was not only a skillful carpenter, but he was also kind and thoughtful. Mary loved him deeply and knew that he loved her, too.

Wedding plans

Soon the customary waiting period of one year would be completed and they would be married. Joyously, Mary looked forward to their upcoming wedding. The whole town would attend the celebration.

Then something unexpected changed everything. God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth with stunning news for Mary. "Greetings, favored woman!" he said. "The Lord is with you!" The sudden appearance of this heavenly messenger in dazzling white robes startled her.

An angel announces a change in Mary’s plans

"Don’t be frightened, Mary," the angel told her, "for God has decided to bless you! You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!"

Puzzled by these amazing words, Mary asked, "But how can I have a baby? I’m a virgin."

The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s already in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God."

Mary agrees

"I am the Lord’s servant," Mary responded, "and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true."

The angel left and Mary hurried to the hill country to visit Elizabeth. No one else would understand the angel’s extraordinary message. Mary must share this exciting but frightening news with her. Maybe Elizabeth could advise Mary how to explain this pregnancy to her parents and her beloved Joseph.

And Elizabeth reassures her

When Mary arrived at the home of her relatives, Elizabeth cried out with joy. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, she exclaimed to Mary, "You are blessed by God above all other women and your child is blessed. What an honor this is, that the mother of my Lord should visit me. When you greeted me, the baby in my womb jumped for joy the instant I heard your voice! You are blessed, because you believed that the Lord would do what he said." (Luke 1:26-56 NLT)

Today’s prayer

"Heavenly Father, thank You for the unending wonder of the Christmas story. Help me to trust You with childlike faith as Mary did. I praise you because nothing is impossible with You. Amen."

© Paula Kortcamp Combs 1998


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