Christmas is just six days away! My children are all traveling home to visit so I am planning a menu of favorite foods, Christmas Eve traditions, and tucking a few surprises under the tree for them.
As I think of the preparations: shopping, wrapping, baking, cooking, entertaining, cards to mail...It is easy to get caught up in the busyness and miss the quiet messages of Christmas. The message of hope. The message of Love. The message wrapped in swaddling clothes sent from God to a dark world; God's greatest gift.
When the angel visited Zechariah and then, Mary, the dark silence was broken. The dimmed hope of a Messiah was beginning to shine.
In preparation this month, we looked at the Angel Gabriel's first words to Mary, Hail favored one. The Lord is with you. We can only imagine what she felt as he said she would bear the Son of the Most High and name Him, Jesus. I know how I would have felt! Fearful, just like Mary! Then the angel told Mary, Do not be afraid. Easier said then done when faced with incomprehensible things. But, like Mary, once we get beyond the fear we can begin to believe.
When I need to believe God for something beyond my imagination, questions usually start to fly. Doubt rises and I begin to second guess myself and what I have heard. Mary had questions too. The angel assured her with news that her cousin, Elizabeth who was barren, was also expecting a child. Then Gabriel encouraged her by saying, Nothing will be impossible with God.
I believe these words are true for us too. Whatever we face, whatever our need, not only is God with us, but He is able to accomplish the things He has promised.
What promise are you waiting for? What comfort do you find in the words that Mary heard?
God is with you;
Do not be afraid;
Nothing will be impossible with God.
Believing brings hope to a fearful heart.
As we celebrate the messages of Christmas this week, I pray you will experience Him as Emmanuel, God with us. Savior. Lord. Redeemer. God's greatest gift. And, then believe, just like Mary did.