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.
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!