Wednesday, December 22, 2010
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 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 to 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; 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 departed from her. Luke 1:25-38
In the last few days before Christmas, we are often overwhelmed with the dashing and the last minute details. We are overwhelmed with what seems impossible. Will Christmas come if we are not ready? If we are not right and perfectly in order will God deny us our needs? We wonder whether we have done too much or too little, we fret over our families and children, we care so much and feel most often inadequate. And yet, busy Gabriel, announces to Mary that God is full of miracles, and God is full of peace and solutions even in seemingly impossible situations. Mary must have been overwhelmed and burdened with this news, knowing no one would believe her and everyone would tear her down. But God had a different plan and a different way and busy Gabriel announced the possible in the midst of impossibility.
Gabriel had good news for Mary and good news for us in the middle of our frantic worry. God is with us and Emmanuel has come and is coming to bring peace and good will to us all. We who are troubled and anxious, God is bringing calm and comfort. For those with broken hearts and lost hope God is bringing new life and new joy. To those of us who have feel there is no future and everything ahead is impossible, God is bringing possibilities and new insight to old dilemmas.
May we all have courage today to trust God to bring possible into our impossibilities. May we find forgiveness for the unforgivable, light for our darkness and refuge for the weary under our trees this year. And may we all know the present incarnation and future love that casts out all fear.