Summary: Mary's response to what looked like and impossible task is what makes her special.
• Wow, we are closing in on another Christmas, and as we do, I want to take you on a journey for the next three weeks in a series called MARY CHRISTMAS.
• SLIDE #1
• During this time of the year, churches typically focus on the Christmas season, and at FCC, we will do the same.
• We are going to weave through some of the narrative of Luke 1:26-55 for this week and the next two weeks leading up to Christmas day.
• I want to us to view the narrative leading up to Christmas through the eyes and heart of Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ.
• Today we begin our trek by sitting next to Mary as she gives her response to God to her special calling from the Angel Gabriel.
• I hope we can sense the tension, the raw emotion that she is feeling as she is watching and listening to Gabriel speak with her.
• In our message today, we will sum up the emotional roller coaster that Mary will endure with four brief words.
• Obviously, Mary was given a special from mission from God; however, today, if you belong to Jesus, you too have been given a special mission. We are called to reach the lost for God.
• As we enter this journey with Mary, I think we will be able to see that whenever we serve the Lord, whenever we feel called to carry out His mission, we too will experience the same type of emotions that Mary felt as she was given her awesome task by Gabriel.
• I hope we can learn from Mary the best way to respond to God’s call in our life.
• Let’s being this morning by turning to Luke 1:26-30 as this passage will reveal the first of our four words that are a part of Mary’s emotional rollercoaster.
• SLIDE #2
• Luke 1:26–30 (HCSB) — 26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. 30 Then the angel told her: Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
• SLIDE #3
• O.k. The first word, SCARED! Why would we start with this word to begin our journey? Here are some reasons.
• Mary is approached by the Angel of the Lord Gabriel. That would be intimidating on its own.
• Here is a great CULTURAL reason for Mary to be fearful.
• She could be a young at 12 years of age, we are not told in the text; however, in that culture it would not be unusual or weird for her to be that young.
• From the narrative, we also find that she is engaged to a man named Joseph.
• That is sweet, she is going to be married. He engagement usually lasted 10 to 12 months, it is not like today where a couple moves in together and saying they are engaged for 10 years.
• During the engagement, the woman lives with friends and family and she her contact with her husband to be is chaperoned so they make sure she stays a virgin until they are married.
• Also, being engaged was legally almost the same as marriage.
• In our society people cheat on each other even before they are married, in Mary’s day if she had relations with another person during her engagement, she was subject to be put to death for committing adultery. WOW!
• Now realize her fear has not reached its apex because she has not found out about why Gabriel is speaking with her.
• Then she will need to explain this it Joseph at some point.
• Now, one would think that Mary would be ok as of now because Gabriel is telling her that she HAS FOUND FAVOR with God.
• In verse 28, Gabriel tells her to REJOICE because of this fact!
• You know Mary’s tension level is high because in verse 30 Gabriel tells her not to be afraid.
• We also see the phrase in verse 29 when we are told that SHE WAS DEEPLY TROUBLED by what the Gabriel was said.
• The phrase indicates her tension level was through the roof. The phrase can be translated TERRIFIED.
• The other thing to consider is that Mary has no indication this meeting is going to take place until it happens. She is minding her own business, living her life, and apparently, she is living a life that catches the eye of God.