Advent Devotional – Mary

My Advent devotionals will be a week behind this year, but that simply means that the last one will actually fall on Christmas, instead of the week before.  That’s ok, at least in my mind :).

I’m not going to add a lot of my own commentary for these Advent devotionals, either.  Simply absorb what God’s Word says about the Nativity.

Wreath and Photo by Gillian Frank

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary.
And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, the Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.  Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.  For with God nothing will be impossible.”
Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord!  Let it be to me according to your word.”
And the angel departed from her.

 Martin Luther’s thoughts on the matter are:

The virgin birth is a mere trifle for God; that God should become man is a greater miracle; but most amazing of all is that this maiden should credit the announcement that she, rather than some other virgin, had been chosen to be the mother of God.  She did indeed inquire of the angel, “How can these things be?” and he answered, “Mary you have asked too high a question for me, but the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you and you will not know yourself how it happens.”  Had she not believed, she could not have conceived.  She held fast to the word of the angel because she had become a new creature.  Even so must we be transformed and renewed in heart from day to day.  Otherwise Christ is born in vain.
This is the word of the prophet: “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given” (Isa 9:6).  This is for us the hardest point, not so much to believe that he is the son of the virgin and God himself, as to believe that this Son of God is ours.

Taken from Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.