2023 Advent Devotional - Luke 1:26-29 (Day 16)

Luke 1:26-29 “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.”

Mary is told that “the Lord is with you!” And that she is “favored”. What is her response?  “She was  greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.”    Has anyone ever brought you good news, told you that you have won a prize, or congratulated or thanked you for something and your response has been “why did you pick me” or “what did I do to deserve these words of praise”?  Has the feeling of it being too good to be true ever overshadowed your ability to receive a gift for what it is?


That is how I imagine Mary felt at that moment.  

I am also thinking that if it was me, I would be very scared and confused.  At the point the angel Gabriel came to Mary it had been approximately 400 years since the last prophet.  If I  tried to put myself in her place and an angel came to me today, would I believe it? I have read both the old and new testament and very much believe it is the Word of God, I also very much believe that God is able to speak to us through his Word then, now, and forever; BUT would I really believe God would send an angel to me?  After 2000 years of no reported angels or prophets? Would I believe it on my own, probably not.  Mary also likely knew the old testament and had heard God’s word, but would she believe God would send her an angel?

As we will see in the next two day’s readings God doesn’t leave it to Mary to comprehend this for herself.  As He often does He provides her with discernment and spiritual understanding to see the GIFT He is giving to her and also to see that being “O favored one” is not something that she can do but only that God can do through her! God didn’t bless Mary because she was worthy or perfect but because HE is gracious.

I am thankful that Mary received God’s gift and did it with a submissive heart.  

May God give us all the discernment to see God’s gift of grace and forgiveness through Jesus this Advent and for us to submit to His plans for us as Mary did. - By Tammy Wiese
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