Saturday, December 21, 2019 Luke 1:26-3826 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him 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 ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 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.” 38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. Reflection:I love the way Mary is “convinced” that God is about to fulfill his promise to Israel of the Messiah: “Mary, you’re a virgin, yet you’re going to have a baby… and the father is going to be God... and you’ve found favor in his sight… and you’re hearing this message from an angel. Oh, and if that’s not enough, your cousin Elizabeth recently conceived a child, even in her old age.” “Mary, I just thought you should know this in case you had any doubt that God would keep his promise.”We know that it did happen, just as God had promised. The Gospels give us the account of how God kept his word of promise that he gave to Mary, as well as the fulfillment of those prophecies given thousands of years ago. God’s promises weren’t just for Mary, or the people of Israel, or Christians in the first century. God’s promises were, and are, for us today. They’re for you. Our response to God’s fulfilled promise should be like that of Mary, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Our greatest joys are found when we live according to the word of God. He can turn around broken lives, make peace where there is strife, and bring joy from sorrow. Mary experienced it firsthand and so can we.