We are coming close to the end of Advent, this time of preparing, this season of waiting. For so many years, people waited for God to send the One he promised. In the Gospel for this Sunday we hear about the first person to find out that the time of waiting is over.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God
God sends an angel. Angels, we know, are messengers from God. It is God who announces that the time of waiting is over. We can ask then, who will hear the message? Who is the message for?
the angel came to Mary and said, “Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.”
When the angel says hello to this young woman named Mary, he tells her that she is favoured. God is so very pleased with her and fills her with God's goodness, God's grace. Then the angel tells Mary that the Lord is with her. How can the Lord, who is God, be with Mary?
I wonder. Mary wonders, too.
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--
We hear this again and again--angels telling people not to be afraid. When we are afraid, we cannot listen to a message.
The angel continues,
And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.
Here is the message! God wants something extremely special to happen to Mary. She will have a baby inside of her, growing. A "son" means it is a boy baby. And the angel gives the baby a name: Jesus.
This is very unusual. Lots of woman have babies. So many. Our mothers had us. But did an angel come to announce to our mothers that they would have a baby? That seems unusual. Something very special is happening here. Who can this baby named Jesus be?
The angel says,
“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.”
This great baby will have a throne given to him by God! He will have a kingdom that lasts forever. A forever king. Oh, who is this baby we call Jesus?
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be...?
She knows she's not married. She is not ready to have a baby. How can this happen then? The angel says 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.
Is this how the Lord is with Mary? The Holy Spirit comes to her, and the child is holy. The Son of God. This boy baby belongs to God and grows inside of Mary. God who is so great, and Mary who is so special and who is also one of us. A mother, like our mothers.
And Mary says,
“Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
Let it be with me. Let it be. Another way of saying this is, "Yes, Lord." She means, "Yes, I will have that baby."
What can we say to God for this great message the angel Gabriel brings?
What can we say to God for the gift of this baby who has a throne and a kingdom, who is Son of God growing inside of Mary?
What can we say with Mary who chooses to have this baby?
We can say, Yes, Lord!