21 December Luke 1: 26–38
In Jewish culture, a girl would be considered a woman when she could conceive a child, she could be promised to a man and engaged for a year before marrying. Mary was young, poor, humble, full of faith, and wisdom. God chose Mary for one of the most important acts of obedience he has ever required of anyone. You may feel that your ability, experience, or education makes you unlikely or underqualified for God’s service. Don’t limit God’s choices. He has something in mind for you to do. He can use you if you trust him.
Gabriel brought an important message from God not only for Mary but for the whole world: Jesus the Saviour, ‘Son of the Most High’, the King, will be born.
Centuries earlier, God had promised that David’s kingdom would last forever. This promise was fulfilled in the coming of Jesus, a direct descendant of David. David the ‘Great King’ of Israel was promised a continuing dynasty on the condition that the subsequent kings obeyed God. By Jesus’ time, this had evolved into the anticipation of a messiah who would restore David’s kingdom.
‘Son of the Most High’ and ‘Son of God’ here are royal titles for Jesus. Gabriel’s whole speech presents Jesus as a royal figure, a coming king, who will also be ‘holy’ thanks to the agency of the Holy Spirit.
The birth of Jesus to a virgin is a miracle. Luke was a medical doctor. He knew perfectly well how babies are made. Tradition holds that Luke talked with Mary and recorded this event; it is not a fictional invention.
Jesus is both fully human and fully divine, with power and authority to deliver his people from sin, he is our King and we belong to his Kingdom.
Thank you, Jesus, ‘Son of God’, our King, who truly knows all our thoughts, feelings, and needs, you are able to help us in every circumstance. We pray that your liberating kingdom will come in truth, hope, justice, peace, love and joy.