Summary: Luke presents this "Gift of Hope" in Christ through: 1) The Divine Messenger (Luke 1:26), 2) The Divine Choice (Luke 1:27), 3)The Divine Blessing (Luke 1:28–30), and 4) The Divine Child (Luke 1:31-33).
Through the Advent season, the celebration of Christmas is arguably the most widely celebrated of all the world’s holidays, involving more people and nations than any other. But at the same time, it is perhaps the most misunderstood of all the major holidays. Other holidays honor famous people or commemorate significant historical events. Christmas, however, honors a divine person and remembers a divine event; it does not celebrate human achievement, but divine accomplishment. Santa Claus, crowded shopping malls, office parties, alcohol consumption, gift giving, holiday decorations, and family get-togethers do not reflect the true meaning of Christmas. There is nothing man-made about the Christmas story. It is the most miraculous, compelling narrative in history, as the Holy Spirit relates the dramatic story of Jesus Christ’s birth. Those who truly celebrate Christmas do so by remembering the profound reality that God sent His only begotten Son to die for the sins of all who put their faith in Him.
The promise of a Savior, for centuries the hope of the faithful, believing remnant of Israel, continued its realization with Gabriel’s second appearance in the Gospel of Luke, this time to a young woman. Luke’s simple, unadorned, unembellished account of Gabriel’s announcement to Mary emphasizes the divine character of Christ’s birth. The events depicted in Luke 2 reflect the message of hope and Mary's contemplation of the future.
Of all the things we hope for at Christmas, it is often the simple things that bring the most joy. When shopping is done, travel commitments are achieved, and work is finished we can catch our breath as it were and think. When our minds turn to the coming of Christ we should reflect upon the hope of the Gospel and the implication of His kingdom consummation of His return.
Luke presents this "Gift of Hope" in Christ through: 1) The Divine Messenger (Luke 1:26), 2) The Divine Choice (Luke 1:27), 3)The Divine Blessing (Luke 1:28–30), and 4) The Divine Child (Luke 1:31-33).
1) The Divine Messenger (Luke 1:26)
Luke 1:26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, (ESV)
Gabriel’s appearance to Zacharias had broken four centuries of revelatory silence. Astonishingly, just a short while later in the sixth month (of Elizabeth’s pregnancy as indicated by 1:36.) the angel Gabriel was once again sent from God with a revelation that would be the most significant birth announcement the world has ever known, heralding the most monumentally significant event in human history—the birth of the only Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, the great God of heaven sends the gift of salvation to humans in a serene unadorned package of simplicity (Bock, D. L. (1994). Luke: 1:1–9:50 (Vol. 1, p. 107). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.).
The last time the angel Gabriel appeared before the events in the Gospels, was to the prophet Daniel more than five hundred years earlier (Daniel 8:15–17; 9:21). Each time Gabriel appeared, he brought important messages from God. (Barton, B. B., Veerman, D., Taylor, L. C., & Osborne, G. R. (1997). Luke (pp. 16–17). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.)