November 28th, 2022
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 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. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 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. 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. For nothing will be impossible with God.” 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.”Luke 1:26-38 (NRSVCE)
Hello & Welcome,
Today is the first Monday of Advent and I will be following the traditional focus which is HOPE. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where others are telling you to keep “hope” alive or think to yourself, “there’s no hope.” Life has many twists and turns that can often happen at the most inconvenient times. When they do “how do you react?” Do you find yourself drawn into dark places or negativity, with your head spinning out ideas that are so outlandish they could never be true? What about being scared or afraid of consequences? I have personally experienced these things and lived through some that I never thought I would.
• I have lied, knowing it was wrong.
• I’ve cheated while in a relationship, knowing it was wrong.
• I have made very poor decisions that could have forever altered my life.
• I have believed I was not deserving of forgiveness or second chances.
• I have taken myself down some very dark paths.
• I’ve been so broken-hearted that I wanted to rip my heart right out of my chest. Grief that was seemed unbearable.
I now know the truth, the truth has set me free. I am, and so are you … a created being, created uniquely but God Himself. God has a plan for each of us and a purpose. We are human and we will mess up, but my friends there is hope, these is always hope. Our hope is in Christ alone. Sincerely seek God and His forgiveness and start over, again and again if that’s what it takes. You are so very loved!
What About Mary?
Can you even imagine the things that might have entered Mary’s mind when she encountered Gabriel and his message from God. Did she feel dark shadows surrounding her as her mind wondered what others would say? Did she fear for her life? Would Joseph believe her, becoming pregnant through the Holy Spirit? I am not sure I would have responded with Mary’s confidence but I can honestly say, I want to be like Mary.
Today look for moments of HOPE! See it for yourself, share it with others and provide opportunities to plant seeds of HOPE. I have a favorite sweatshirt that I wear often that simply says “Share Hope” with a background of the world on it.
~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.