"...the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High..."
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
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.” - Luke 1:30-36
Virgin birth is a tricky one to get your head around. But Gabriel reminds Mary that God is able to do the impossible, and the Word of God will never fail.
I don’t always believe that myself. Oftentimes, I’m like the father who brought his ailing son to Jesus (Mark 9:17-24).
He said, “Lord, if you can do anything to help my son, please take pity on us."
“IF?” replied Jesus (he’d been getting a bit perturbed by the lack of faith around him).
And the man replied, “I believe, but help me in my unbelief.”
We’ve heard the Christmas story many times over, but trust in God’s promises doesn’t always take root. We believe in miracles like we believe in hallmark Christmas movies. They're nice stories that make us feel good, but they don't mean anything substantive for our lives and the problems we face.
I recently came across an exchange on Twitter with a writer and director named Dan Harmon - you may know him as the creator of shows like Community and Rick and Morty. For some reason, one of his fans felt led to ask him about his thoughts on dealing with depression. That’s the wonder of social media - average folks can ask these sorts of questions of celebrities without a second thought. Harmon actually answered, and his advice was really helpful.
I have no idea if Harmon is a Christian or not, but there is truth to his words evidenced in scripture. We may feel that all is lost, there is no hope, or that life has no meaning. It’s important to acknowledge those feelings and come to grips with why we feel and believe them. But thank the LORD that our feelings do not have the last word.
Our meaning and hope is supplied by the Lord - the Creator of the Universe, who simply spoke a word and the heavens and the earth were created. Our hope is supplied by the One who created a child in the womb of a virgin. Our hope is supplied by the One who conquered the grave! When He says He’ll do something, He means it.
As we enter the Advent season this year, may we remember the real and present hope of Jesus. Emmanuel. God with us. Even when we feel that all is lost, we And may we remember God's promises to meet us in our hurting. And we He says He'll do something. He means it.
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