Luke 1:26-38 English Standard Version (ESV)
Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed[a]to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”[b]29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 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,33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”[c]
35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[d] will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[e] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
We have been stepping through this Lenten season with our eyes fixed upon the cross we know is coming at the end of our travels. We've been taking note of the mindsets and patterns in our lives that God has asked us to set aside in favor of allowing new mindsets and patterns that allow the Kingdom of God to emerge as we have journeyed together.
Today seems like a departure from Lent.
Today is about nine months before Christmas. Nine months later, the world encounters Jesus for the first time as God enfleshed. This is the moment God enters the world at large with an offer of salvation to all, and our personal world in particular, with an offer of Lordship for each of us reading this Lenten reflection.
And God is always giving birth to new realities, to new ways of His manifesting Himself in the world and us.
Even today, with Christmas a pregnancy away, God is conceiving Himself in you in a new way.
Read through the passage above a few times and imagine God is speaking to you personally.
In light of where you have been walking with Him through this Lenten season, what do you sense God is wanting to create in you starting today?
Do you sense this creation may take some time to grow and be nurtured internally before entering the world in a lived out way? What would help this emerging new life to be nurtured in order to grow?
How have the renunciations you have been making, the pattern of abstaining you may have been observing these last three weeks, created space for something new of God to emerge?
Is your response more like Mary's in this passage or more like Zacharias's that we read about earlier in this chapter? Why?
Image by Shemaka Soon via Wikimedia Commons