Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I read stories in the Bible, and having read them previously, I know what is going to happen, and it can take away some of the wonder that might otherwise have been there. If we are not careful, we might treat the Christmas story with that sort of attitude.
The Angel Gabriel came to a young woman, Mary, and told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:30-33 (ESV)).
Stop for one minute and consider those words. What an amazing thing for Mary to be told, right out of the blue, as it were. Scripture tells us that she was “a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David” (Luke 1:27 (ESV)). I would liked to have seen her face as Gabriel spoke to her. I think it would have been a picture!
Her initial reaction was, “How will this be, since I am still a virgin?” (Luke 1:34 (ESV)).
Well, God had a plan for Mary. Matthew tells us that when Joseph found out that Mary was expecting, he told him to take her as his wife, because all this was to fulfill the prophecy from Isaiah 7:14, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (Matthew 1:23 (ESV)).
The book of Isaiah was written in the 8th century BC. So, eight hundred years before Mary was born, God had announced to mankind that this was going to happen. Amazing!
Mary’s response after Gabriel had finished speaking was, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38 (ESV)). What a woman!
Go back to the scripture, read the story again. If you feel it is the “same old, same old,” read it again, think about it, and see the wonder of this incredible narrative.
Colin R. Vine