Friday, 18 December 2015

Joy foretold

I puzzle.

Gabriel comes to Mary and tells her she will have a son. How wonderful. Here is a girl, engaged to be married, wondering about the children she will have and she hears that her first born will be a BOY.
She will have done her duty by her husband with that one first birth.
And not just any boy, but someone who will grow up special and honoured. The son of the Most High and Holy God. Someone who will be king as David was. Someone who will rule over the entire house of Jacob, her betrothed’s family. Someone whose kingdom will last forever.
And she asks how? How will this happen?

And I wonder why this is not counted as doubt. When Zechariah asks how he will know, really know the angel’s words are true, he is struck dumb. And surely that is some sort of consequence, or punishment, for his apparent disbelief when he asks how an impossible thing can happen without just accepting that God can do anything whenever and however he want.

And I wonder what it means that Mary asks how it will happen? For surely she should expect to have children, she who is engaged to be married. Is this angel’s visit surely not just giving her news of what she can anticipate for her life?

But no. For the greeting of the angel is one that has been foretold, the words from God for just such a time as this.
This is the sign of Ahaz, from the Lord himself: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”  Isaiah 7:14
This is no ordinary conception, no ordinary baby, will be no ordinary birth... for this is what has been destined from the  beginning, when man fell into sin and there was only one way out...THIS.

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