Summary: The call to share Christ with the world began with Mary... It is now our turn.
Luke 1: 26-38
Paonia United Methodist Church
December 22, 2002
I want to start off this morning with a little exercise.
Don’t worry, you don’t even have to get up…
But I do want you to take a minute to reflect back on your life.
I want you to remember being 15.
Can you remember back that far?
What were you doing at 15?
Some of you here today may have children about that age.
This morning, I want you to try and remember what it was
like to be fifteen.
Its an awkward time.
Your body is somewhere between childhood and adulthood,
Hormones are doing all sorts of weird things to your
Body and to your voice.
And there is this great race to grow up.
Still, at Fifteen you are not old enough to drive a car,
vote, stay out late, or live on your own.
There are a lot of things that you are not allowed to do.
Now, close your eyes for a moment.
Remember yourself at fifteen years old.
You are in Junior High,
Interested in things fifteen year olds are interested in.
You are still a child living in your parents home.
Then, one night, there is a disturbance in another room of your house.
You get up to investigate and there,
In the middle of your living room stands this beautiful,
Supernatural, and absolutely terrifying angelic presence that
Speaks these words to you…
“Greetings Favored One, The Lord is With You.”
What would you do?
What would be going through your mind?
Would you also be wondering how fast you could get
out the back door and down the street?
Keep this thought in mind as we hear the reading of our Gospel text…
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
34"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon 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. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God."
38"I am the Lord’s servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
This is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Scholars tell us that Mary was between 13 and 16…
To be more exact, most think she was about 15 when the angel
Gabriel gave her this message.
Is there any question why the angel told Mary not to be afraid?
She had plenty of reason’s to be absolutely terrified.
For one thing, how many of you here have ever stood in the
presence of an angel from the Lord.?
If you have, then you will understand why they always
In Scripture begin with “Be not afraid.”
God’s angels are nothing like what is portrayed by Hollywood.
They are a presence that commands extraordinary power and authority.
When you have been in the presence of an angel,
There is no question what you have just witnessed.
This alone is enough to be a terrifying experience for a fifteen year old girl.
Equally terrifying is the promise that she is about to become
Pregnant out of wedlock.
You see, Mary was betrothed to Joseph.
A betrothal in that day and age was much more than a engagement.
It indicated a contract between families for a future marriage.
The bride and groom often didn’t have much say in the matter.
The betrothal might be sealed by the exchange of lavish gifts or a feast.
All the family was involved.
It was all nice and legal.
Mary breaking this contract by becoming pregnant with another man’s child
Was grounds for her to be stoned on the spot.