The Reveal | Luke 1

Welcome to Real Life. Sometimes a pregnancy elicits mixed reactions.

“I think that carrying a baby inside you is like running as fast as you can.
It feels like finally letting go and filling yourself up to the wildest limits.”
–Author unknown[1]

“Have you heard?” the woman asks her neighbor, “Mary’s pregnant.”

“Joseph’s Mary? But they aren’t married yet,” her friend replies.

“Joseph isn’t the father. It probably happened in Judea while she was visiting her cousin Elizabeth, and away from her parents’ watchful eyes.”

“No, I can’t believe it. Sweet, innocent Mary?” the woman’s eyes pop. “Poor Joseph. What will he do?”

“Well, you know Joseph. He’s an upright man. He’ll deal with it quietly. I hope he finds a good, faithful wife who will appreciate him.”

God rarely arrives as expected. The king of kings didn’t enter a capital city with pomp and ceremony. He came quietly. As a helpless infant. Born in a humble village, to a young virgin, in a family lacking prominence—except in God’s eyes. For God values what we don’t, things like meekness, purity, gentleness. Our Savior’s virgin birth is the most miraculous, awe-inspiring part of the Christmas story. It’s also the part that places Mary in an awkward, misunderstood position.

Months earlier…

“Don’t be afraid. You’ve found favor with God,” the angel Gabriel announces when he appears before Mary. “You will give birth to the Son of God Most High. You will name him Jesus. He will reign on David’s throne forever.”

“How can this be?” Mary asks. “I’m a virgin.”

“The power of the Most High will overshadow you,” Gabriel explains. “Even Elizabeth, your cousin who was barren, is six months pregnant. For no word of God will ever fail!

“Elizabeth is with child, at her age?” Mary grins. For Elizabeth is past childbearing years.

Days after Gabriel’s visit, in Judea…

“Blessed are you among women and blessed is the child you bear! Why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Elizabeth asks as Mary walks through her door. Elder and wiser Elizabeth exalts young Mary. Thereby, she confirms Gabriel’s message. You will give birth to the Son of God Most High. Before neighbors can misjudge Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth gets it right.

From this extraordinary account we receive the gift of Christmas—the most giving, hopeful, transplendent season of the year!

For a minute, Mary may have been misjudged. But ever after, she is held in highest esteem. Mary knew this and certainly took comfort in it. By the Holy Spirit, she herself prophesies,

All generations shall call me blessed![2]

God rarely arrives as expected. He comes quietly to open, humble hearts. Hearts like Mary’s!

How silently, how silently
the wondrous gift is giv'n!
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of His heav'n.
No ear may hear His coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive Him still
the dear Christ enters in.[3]

Dearest Lord,
We open wide our hearts to you!
We lived in darkness under the shadow of death
Until your sun rose in Bethlehem.[4]
Thank you for coming to save us.
We love you, Jesus!

Take it further...

  • On December 5, 1976, during the Christmas season, I opened my heart and invited Jesus in. A relationship with Christ can begin with a simple prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me. Thank you for inviting me to have a personal relationship with you. I believe that you are God, and that you came into the world personally, to pay my penalty and to die on the cross, carrying my sins. I confess that I am lost without you. Would you forgive my sin, and make me new from the inside out? Help me seek to know and follow you. Right now I am turning from a life of my own ways, and I am putting all of my trust in you. I trust you to erase my sin from your book, to start my relationship with you, to make my life here count, and to bring me to heaven one day. Lord, from today on, I am yours.[5]

Talk to a real person about beginning a relationship with Jesus by calling 1-888-NEED-HIM. Or chat live online at Need Him.
  • Read the story of Jesus birth in Luke 1-2

Photo credit: Ali Condon (woman), Cindi Ferrini (baby Everett Austin Zion)
[2] Luke 1:48
[3] "O Little Town of Bethlehem," third stanza, written by Phillips Brooks (1835–1893)
[4] Luke 1:78
[5] Prayer is taken from Pastor Jonathan Schaeffer’s Sermon Notes 11/17/19, Grace CMA Church


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