Advent Devotional

Luke 1:26-38

"…The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin…and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”  But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.  The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”  Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”  The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God…And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”  And the angel departed from her."

Mary was very surprised, perplexed, and afraid when she heard the words of the angel Gabriel.  Why would an angel greet her?  What did it mean that she was “highly favored” of God?  How was the Lord with her?  Mary was very humble and honest before God.  She never expected to see an angel or receive special favors from God.  Gabriel gave her the good news that she would be the mother of the promised Messiah of Israel.  The Child will be the God Man.  Gabriel confirmed both the deity and humanity of the Child.  The Child’s name was to be Jesus for He was coming to earth to be the Savior of the world and to fulfill the promises God made to the Jewish fathers.  Mary’s response was to surrender herself to God as His willing servant, desiring to be used by the Spirit to fulfill the will of God.

For Reflection & Discussion: Would you say that you are fully surrendered to God’s will for your life, like Mary?  How would you like God to use you to accomplish his will?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of Your Son.  The humble attitude and willingness of Mary to be your servant is an example to us all.  May we walk humbly before you and seek to fulfill Your purposes for our lives.  Thank You for using us as Your instruments to accomplish Your will.  Amen.
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