“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said,
‘Greetings, O favored one, the LORD is with you!’
But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her,
‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor [grace] 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 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.’
And Mary said to the angel,
‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’
And the angel answered her,
‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [hover over you, brood over you]; therefore the child to be born will be called Holy___the Son of God. 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. For nothing will be impossible with God’
And Mary said,
‘Behold, I am the servant of the LORD; let it be to me according to your word.’
And the angel left her.” Luke 1:26-38
I considered leaving some of these verses out, but if it were you, could you choose just a few? I certainly couldn’t!! But I would like to make a few observations. First, the angel left Mary after this stunning revelation. But God didn’t. He is Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is Here and He never left her or forsook her. He stayed, supported her and supplied her every need. He had already sent an angel to Joseph so Mary did not have to try to explain the holy thing that would happen to her. The desperate desire to be understood never overcame her for her LORD had met that need. She never felt she must become her own defense lawyer!! How gracious and loving of God!! He was to her Jehovah-jireh, The LORD Who Provides and the God Who Sees To It!!
Second, I was once again struck by Mary’s humble submission. She chose to take God at His word…I believe that is called faith. She waited, she was silent and she was still. But she had hope in God’s promise, confident she had found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Thirdly, this birth of God’s only begotten Son was a onetime event. Yet He is the same God to those who belong to Him today. Because of this Holy Child, Who would die for our sins, we too can be filled with hope and assurance we are loved.
“And this hope does not let us down, because God’s love for us has already been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. For while we were still helpless [to save ourselves from our sins] at the right time, the Messiah died on behalf of ungodly people.” Romans 5:5-6
Fourthly, God sent His Son right on time___ on track, on target and on task. And HOPE was born! For the Jewish people needed hope. They were under painful bondage to the Law of God for men had added their own thoughts about how one was to live. Even Mary and Joseph would have felt this. The angel’s revelation to Mary must have set hope aflame in her tender heart. She knew the promise of a Messiah Who would deliver; she didn’t know she would be the mother of God’s choice!
“But when the appointed time arrived, God sent forth His Son. He was born from a woman, born into a culture in which legalistic perversion of the Law was the norm so that He might redeem those in subjection to this legalism and thus enable us to be made God’s sons.” Galatians 4:4-5
“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to bring you back again into fear [of that perverted culture of legalism]; on the contrary, you received the Spirit, Who makes us sons and by whose power we cry out,
‘Abba! Father [Dear Father]! The Spirit Himself bears witness with our own spirits that we are children of God and if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with the Messiah___provided we are suffering with Him in order also to be glorified.” Romans 8:15-17
Yes! Jesus truly is the God-gift that keeps on giving! But the story goes on for the Spirit did overshadow Mary and she conceived.
“While they were there [Bethlehem…the appointed place of the Holy Child’s birth] the time came for her to give birth [in a specific year, month, date and time] and she gave birth to her first child, a Son. She wrapped Him in cloth and laid Him down in a feeding trough, because there was no space for them in the living-quarters.” Luke 2:6-7
There was no space-available at the inn but Jehovah-jireh provided a place. God gathered Mary, Joseph and later on some shepherds that night. And just as Mary wrapped up the Baby, God the Father “wrapped up” all those present in wonder and awe. Only the Father knew all that His Son would suffer. Such a tiny Baby; such a heavy load He would one day carry on the Cross. All would be done out of love for sinful man.
Who is this Holy Child to you? His name is Jesus. What have you done with Him? When did you choose to believe what God has said about His Son as Mary and Joseph and the shepherds did? Will you accept His most gracious offer to come into your life as Savior and LORD? Will you confess your helpless condition to save yourself from your sins? Will you repent and turn to God in Christ Jesus? And when you do, HOPE will be born in you!! I pray you will do so now.
Christian, what are you doing with Jesus now? Do you know Him as the Holy Spirit Who lives in you? What difficult times are you facing? Perhaps feelings of abandonment, loneliness, no one understanding you? Or you could be experiencing a deepening relationship with the LORD and that means HOPE is active in you!!
Just a few more truths for us to cling to…to hope in:
Jesus can free you from the bondage of being your own defense lawyer…let Him handle it for you. It is freeing to wait, to be silent and still.
Jesus can free you from the perversion of legalism that says you ought to, you must, you should. He will teach you how to live by His grace!
Jesus as God can be for you Jehovah-jireh the God Who Will See To It, when your needs are beyond your capability of meeting.
Jesus can help you forgive.
Jesus can fill you with hope that He has so much more planned for you – “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
How will Jesus do this for you? When you begin to be in His Word daily you will realize precious truths about Him. Open the Scriptures and find the hope you need and so much more. The Holy Spirit will meet you. He has never left you but have you left Him out? God is serious about meeting with you alone every day.
Open the Christmas story anew and expect His personal attention and revelation. Those who belong to the LORD can live an expectant life! Stand in awe and adoration before Him.
“And may God, the source of encouragement and patience give you the same attitude among yourselves as Jesus the Christ had, so that with one accord with one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ…may God the source of hope, fill you completely with joy and peace as you continue trusting, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may overflow with hope.” Romans 15:5-6. 13
May God’s grace be multiplied to you because one night long ago, the Hope of the World was born.