A Sacrifice in His Birth
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1: 26-38)
This Christmas season has me more drawn to the birth of Christ, I am sad to say, than any years before and more so, with this passage in particular. We often concentrate on Mary and commend her response to the Lord as she takes on this amazingly huge responsibility. The possibilities are endless as to what could happen to her as an unwed pregnant young girl who is engaged but nevertheless, she seems honored to be given this cup to drink. But I ask, if only for a moment, to look at the supernatural and the possibilities that could have taken place in the heavens at this very same moment. I see it happening something like this:
"Gabriel's words to Mary echoed through the heavens as the most crucial of conversations between man and angel occurred. What would Mary say? How would this young woman react? The Holy Trinity already knew the outcome as the angels hung on every word. The Father, looking over at the Son, can already feel His heart being pulled as the separation will soon occur. "Are you ready, Son?" With a smile and a nod, the Christ answered the Father. With his large, gentle hand, The Father reaches over and pulls the Son in for one last tangible hug before The Son leaves his right side for the very first time. The Son is about to enter into the world through the womb of a virgin. He is about to leave the throne of His Kingdom to be born to the very poor family of a carpenter. His head will rest upon hay in his first days and will be crowned in thorns during his last. His earthly mother will cradle him as he enters her world as well as when he leaves it. He will experience every emotion, every temptation, every fear and every feeling that comes with being sinned against, and yet He still agrees to come . . . He still agrees to come.
And then Mary speaks, "May your word to me be fulfilled." And like that . . . It's done. The Son has left. He is now Son and man. The angels roar with rejoicing and The Father leaps with glee. The world is being reconciled to Him.
So during the season of Advent, as we prepare for the coming of the Lord, let us be gracious for his sacrifice, even at his birth. What an amazing God we serve!