Dec 17, 2017

Devotion - 17 December - The Faith of Mary

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. Today we added straw to the manger to our Nativity scene. Normally you would put hay in a manger for animals, but we used straw. Won’t the animals starve? We will put straw in the manger and then trust in God. Mary needed to trust God and the Gospel text today shows that she really did. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin. There is an idea in the devotion that comes from Constable’s Notes.
Gospel Reading:  Luke 1:26-38 ESV
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary.28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 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 father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
35 And the angel answered 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 called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
 Devotion: The Faith of Mary
OK, an angel appears beside you and starts talking to you. Would you be troubled? I think I would be, maybe frightened too. The angel tells her she is Kingdom Royalty, the mother to be of the King of Kings. Wow, how would you react to that? [Note: I am going to need a palace for this job, Gabriel.] The angel also says Mary will remain a virgin. He also gives her a sign of true prophecy in talking about her barren relative, Elizabeth, being with child. Then Mary must have thought it through and realized that there was some bad news in this situation. The shame of a premarital pregnancy could haunt her for the rest of her life. So, Mary is scared and must potentially face a future of shame. What does she do? What would you do? We all need the strength and faith of Mary. She sets an example of the willingness to serve and to trust God that extends beyond the willingness to be used; and to the point that trusting Him will take us way beyond our limitations. With God all things are possible.

We pray: “Lord, thank you for teaching us the value of faith and trust.  Amen”

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