“…the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings favored one! The Lord is with you.’” Luke 1:26b-28
As I am sitting at my desk writing this, we are just a little less than three hours away from our ecumenical Thanksgiving service. And now, here I am writing about Advent/Christmas! It seems like I just got here to St. Paul and Le Center and whoosh! It’s the holiday season! And many of us are asking, “Where did 2022 go?!?”
Mary’s life was turned upside down when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and gave her the news that she would be the mother of the savior of the world, the very Son of God! Just imagine her surprise (shock even) to:
a. Be visited by an angel and…
b. Learn that she would be the mother of Jesus
Oftentimes in life we are thrown for a loop by circumstances beyond our control–a job change, a medical diagnosis, a sudden death, or, yes, an unexpected pregnancy. Life has a way of throwing us a curveball and it’s usually when we least expect it.
As I mentioned in my sermon this morning (Nov. 20), this parish has been through a lot of change over the past year or so. And through it all, God’s Holy Spirit has been leading and guiding through the leadership of people both inside and outside of the parish. God is good!
As we move into Advent, then Christmas, and finally the new year, I encourage you to take some time now and then to step back for a few moments and ponder what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph. They were a young couple just getting ready to start their married life together. Suddenly God completely changed their plans and indeed their entire future together.
Change like that is not for the faint of heart! They must have been one strong couple! And yet friends, they were regular, hard working people just like you and I. The Bible doesn’t really tell us exactly why God picked this particular couple to bear and raise His Son. But they took on the responsibility; they trusted God even when they weren’t sure what all that would involve.
May we too be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We never know for sure why some things happen in life. Both positive and negative events in our lives can be used by God to draw us closer to Him. And often, what seems like a negative experience can later be looked back on as a time of learning and growth in our lives. We are called to give thanks in all circumstances of life.
This Advent and Christmas season, let us pray together for God’s leading into a new year together. May all that we say and do bring glory and honor to God our heavenly Father, Jesus our precious Savior, and the Holy Spirit our blessed Guide. I pray for a blessed season for us all!