26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And [the angel] came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. 30 Then the angel told her: Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will 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 Him the throne of His father David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end. 34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?” 35 The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 And consider your relative Elizabeth-even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 “I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.
— Luke 1: 26-38

Sunday, December 3

The Promise of Christ

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-38


Before Jesus was born, it was promised that he would appear. That was one great promise! Can you remember a time when a promise was made to you, that came true, and was wonderful? Maybe you were promised a special gift that you received, and you treasured that gift when it was yours. Maybe you were told that you would go on a trip to a far away place and the destination seemed almost unreachable until you arrived.

When God sent the angel, Gabriel, to tell Mary that she would give birth to Jesus, she was troubled by Gabriel’s message. She didn’t quite understand why he came to her with this earth shattering news. Gabriel reassured Mary that she had found great favor in God’s eyes. Mary should trust that God loved her and was pleased with her. This helped her believe that God was going to do something that seemed impossible.

Believing in a promise means putting your hope into the fact that the promise will be fulfilled. Just like Mary, we as Christians are faced with the question of whether we will trust God and His ways or whether we will lean into our own understanding. We are called to obey God even when we do not know exactly what He is doing. Just like Mary, the picture God is painting in front of us may trouble us. However, just like Mary, we too, have great hope that God’s plans are perfect.

God loves us and is pleased with us because His promise came true about His Son, Jesus. Yet, sometimes we struggle to believe what God says in His Word, and because of this, we sometimes fail to trust God and follow in obedience. However, in His great love for us, God made a way for you and I to be forgiven for our sins and to live in eternal relationship with Him. When we believe that Jesus is the Son of God according to the truth of Scripture, turning away from our sins, then we become sons and daughters of God. Amazing! Like Mary, we can be found favorable in the sight of God…not because of our goodness, but because God’s promise is true.

When you’re tempted to wonder how you can possibly trust God in the face of something that seems impossible, remember Gabriel’s promise to Mary. He told her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and accomplish all that God had declared to happen. We can have hope and find freedom in the fact that when we trust God, and believe in His Son, the Holy Spirit will lead us to obey and live for God’s glory.


Questions & promises for reflection:

1.       Have you ever had trouble believing, or keeping, a promise?  Ask God’s forgiveness when you doubt or when you do not fulfill a promise. Remember that God keeps all His promises, and they are all fulfilled in Jesus Christ!

2.       How would you have felt if you were Mary? Remember that God is bigger than what we see. He is bigger than our fears. 


Family Activity:

The angel Gabriel helped to calm Mary’s fears by telling her some good news. Think of a time when you helped someone to overcome a fear by sharing good news or encouragement. What did you say? Did he or she feel better after you shared this news? Now, write down the name of a friend or family member whom you can share the good news of Jesus with this Christmas!


Christmas Song:

The Promise of a Savior – The Chapel