14th December 2017

You Are Not Going To Believe This

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.”
Luke 1:31 (NIV)

How did she tell him? Where did she find the courage? Did she choose her moment? It all sounds like a really bad TV soap, but these are questions that spring to mind when considering the situation that Mary found herself in. She was pregnant and knew the baby was not her betrothed’s. The questions continue, would he forsake her? Would society shun her? How would her family take the news?

All the answers are found in Luke 1. Mary’s family were already buzzing with the news about her aged relative Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah who were also expecting a baby. (Luke 1:36). The shock waves must have rippled through the entire family, and here was Mary with news on a par with an earthquake! However God had sent reassurance and calm through His messenger. The first thing the angel gave was encouragement in verse 30, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God.” That must have been a great relief to Mary, that God was delighted, not angry. However the next statement must have blown her away! She was going to conceive the Son of God! Mary asked for details which the angel promptly gave in verses 35-37, “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 the Son of God. 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. For no word from God will ever fail.’”

Mary’s faith is evident. Her close relationship with God is manifest in verses 46–56, commonly known as the Magnificat. She totally trusted God with not a shadow of doubt or incredulity. Her integrity amidst her family is also perceptible as they accepted her without apparent question. Joseph her fiancé, after having his own revelation, acted with probity and love. We read in Matthew 1:20-21, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

One of the messages of Christmas is for us to trust and believe, as Mary and Joseph did. God had plans for them – He has plans for you – great plans for a wonderful future. Receive the promise in Jeremiah 29:11-13 “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’” Trust and believe in the message of Christmas.

Prayer
Great God, thank you for sending your Son to this sin-filled world, for bringing hope and a future for all of us.
Amen

Study by Irene Wilson

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About the Author: 2015-01-24 Irene Wilson & Joy Barlow prepare brunch
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford,
Herts. WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone: 01923-855570
Email: george-sue.henderson@tesco.net

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