Christmas - Hope - Day 2

Opening Prayer: 

Dear Lord, in this Christmas season we pray that you will guide us to see the Hope that comes from believing in Your son Jesus, Immanuel, God with us.

Read: Luke 1:26-28, 30-32 (NIV)

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you………

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.”

Reflect: 

The scene depicted in paintings of this event often portray a young adult lady with a halo over her head.  This was not the reality of the scene at all.  Mary was a poor, young, teen-aged girl.  When the Angel Gabriel appeared to her, the New Living Translation says, “Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.” (1:29) This was followed in vs. 34 by “Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” It had to be a frightening experience for her.  While she knew she had not been immoral, she had to wonder what her parents and Joseph would think.  She also knew how single, pregnant women were treated by people in that culture.

It really seemed like a frightening situation, I am sure.  The angel extended hope to her by explaining how the Holy Spirit would intervene.  Gabriel ends his prediction by stating in vs. 37 that, “The Word of God never fails.”  This information must have given her comfort and hope.

As a result, “Mary responded, ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true’ And then the angel left her.” (Luke 1:38 NLT) What a brave response from this young lady!  Knowing all that she was going to face, she had faith in God that he would be with her throughout the period of pregnancy.    

Looking at this familiar Scripture much closer, we consider what Mary faced.  What pressure she was under! What could she potentially lose by accepting God’s request of her?  Considering this we should ask ourselves how we would respond in her situation. 

Apply:  

Sometimes in our lives, God presents us with tasks that seem impossible or difficult. They come in a variety of forms: cancer, stroke, a youngster with special needs, loss of a job, marital problems, etc.  When these happen, remember the example of Mary.  Remember the hope in what Gabriel said to Mary, “The Lord is with you and his Word never fails.”

Closing Prayer: 

Our Lord Jesus, help us remember that you will guide us each day through your Word and prayer.  Help us remember that our hope is in you.  In your name, Amen.

Today’s Family Christmas Calendar Activity:

Talk as a family about who you can invite to Christmas at Pathway

Pick up a calendar at your campus. Learn more at ChristmasAtPathway.com

Terry Schneider