November 27, 2022
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him 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 ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to 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 holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.”
~ Luke 1:26-38
As I read this passage, I see similarities to the call stories of the Old Testament. God has called Mary to literally bear Jesus into the world, and much like the prophets of old, she has questions about how she can do this thing that God is asking of her. Isaiah and Jeremiah both asked God how they can speak God’s word when they have unclean lips or don’t know what to say. Mary is a virgin. There is no way that she could be pregnant, so how could she be bearing not only a child, but a child who will grow up to be the savior of the world?
To this Gabriel responds with the how and a sign that anything is possible with God. Mary’s relative Elizabeth, who is too old to normally be having a baby is six months pregnant. Then in verse 37 Gabriel tells Mary that “nothing will be impossible with God.” With all of the stories that Mary would have grown up hearing at the synagogue or that her parents told her, she would know that in the past nothing was impossible for God. Gabriel’s statement is in the future tense, so God’s ability to do the impossible is never ending. God could do the impossible long ago, is doing the impossible now, will continue doing the impossible until the end of the world and longer.
God of surprises, tells us that nothing is impossible for you. Give us the faith to believe that what you tell us is true. In Jesus’ name we pray.