Sermons

Summary: Elizabeth was pregnant against all ’odds’. Mary was to become pregnant even though she was a virgin! What seems ’impossible’ in your life right now? What is God saying to your situation?

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“Nothing is impossible with God” (1:37).

What is going on in your life right now which seems impossible to solve? What has happened, or what is happening at the moment which you think might be beyond or outside of God’s care and control?

Is it one of these: Is it your children; a family member; a friend or a neighbour; the state of the nation? Is it your own relationship with God? What is going on in your life right now which seems impossible to fix? Can I encourage you to name it before God now? And as you name it, ask God to intervene by His Spirit?

The Holy Spirit came upon Mary and a seed was planted in her life – in her womb – and because it was a miraculous work of God, this incident was the start of a series of events which would change the world and change our relationship with God.

Previously barren Elizabeth was pregnant even in her old age, and the angel said, “Nothing is impossible with God.”

Mary’s response to the visit of the angel was one of faith and trust in the Lord God almighty.

Back in 1998 I was discussing the possibility of Ordination with a friend called Michael Cohen. I was expressing my feelings of inadequacy and he pointed me to Mary’s response. Her response was one of faith and trust in the Lord God almighty: “May it be to me as you have said” (1:38).

Although we will celebrate Christmas in eight days time, the events in our Bible reading tell of the time when Mary became pregnant – and it is for that reason that some Churches celebrate this event on 25 March each year - The ‘Annunciation of our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary’.

I wonder how long it took for Mary to realise that she actually was pregnant. The Bible tells us she stayed with her cousin Elizabeth for 3 months (Luke 1:56), and yet there were still several months of waiting and preparing ahead of her; and of course after the birth of Jesus it was a further wait of 30 years before his earthly public ministry began. God was not and is not in the business of providing ‘quick-fix’ solutions. God’s promise to Mary, the time of pregnancy, the birth of Jesus, and the 30 year growth and maturity of Jesus were all in God’s long term plan.

How about the apparently ‘impossible’ situation you brought to God just a few minutes ago. Just as the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and planted the seed that would 30 years later become Jesus the man, what seeds would we pray for in those ‘impossible’ or difficult situations? What plans does God have for the people and situations we are praying for?

My friend Richard became a Christian about 6 years ago. He said to God one day, “Ok, if you are real please show me.” Richard went off to Church that day and within a few weeks he had come to realise that God was at work in his life and he came to faith in Jesus. The angels in heaven rejoiced at Richard’s new found faith; but for me one of the heroes of this story is Richard’s sister. When he told her that he had become a Christian she was deeply moved. She was filled with great joy. Why – because she had been praying for her brother Richard for over 30 years that he would come to know and love the Lord Jesus.


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