"Double Blessing challenges us to reframe our perception of blessing, seeing God's gifts as opportunities for increased generosity." —Pastor Louie Giglio

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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).

Luke 1:26-33 [26] In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, [27]to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. [28] And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" [29] But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. [30] And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. [31] And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. [32] He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, [33]and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." (ESV)

For many people, the Christmas season has already begun. This past Friday, so-called Black Friday, was when many stores kick off their official Christmas sales and many people flock to malls, downtowns and shopping centers festooned with Yuletide decorations. Many can expect their calendars to now be filled with Television Christmas specials, school Christmas concerts, work-related Christmas parties and family obligations. Yet in the midst of the rush, Advent beckons us to remember the blessings of this often-overlooked season. A season of hope.

(https://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/6500/advent-a-season-of-blessings)

For centuries, the promise of a Savior, was the hope of the faithful, believing remnant of Israel, which 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 1 reflect the message of hope and Mary's contemplation of the future.

Of all the things we hope for during this season of Advent, 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).

In Luke 1, we see “The Gift of Hope” as shown through:

1) The Divine Messenger (Luke 1:26)

Luke 1:26 [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 Lk. 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.).

• One of the greatest dangers in celebrating the story of the birth of Christ each year is that it become cliché or boring. The only way we can avoid this is seeing God behind the event. This is not mere baby story but the eternal immortal God of the universe bringing about His divine plan in the most miraculous way.

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. Gabriel delivered this crucial message from God not to Jerusalem as might be expected, but to a city in Galilee called Nazareth. To call Nazareth a city is somewhat misleading. Nazareth was by no stretch of the imagination a city in the modern sense of the word; it was actually a small village of only a few hundred people. (The Greek word translated city actually refers to a population center as opposed to a rural area, regardless of size.) For the benefit of his Gentile readers, who may not have been familiar with Palestinian geography, Luke noted that Nazareth was in Galilee, about seventy-five to one hundred miles north of Jerusalem. So obscure and insignificant was this tiny hamlet that it is not even mentioned in the Old Testament, the Talmud, or the writings of Josephus. Yet, despite the claims of some skeptics, however, archaeological evidence proves that Nazareth did in fact exist in Jesus’ day [cf. E. M. Blaiklock and R. K. Harrison, eds., The New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1983) s.v., “Nazareth”; Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998), 102–103].)

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