Friday, December 20, 2013

Mary and Gabriel (Christmas Story 1) (Isaiah 7:14-15, Luke 1:26-38)

"God chose Mary to give birth to the Messiah"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

The story begins in the Old Testament with prophecies.  It's such an incredible story, I'm sure people debated how the prophecy could possibly be fulfilled for many years.  I wonder if they discussed whether the scripture is literal or figurative...  Here's one prophecy:
Isaiah 7:14-15
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.  

After many many years, God sent the angel, "Gabriel," to visit Mary.
Luke 1:26-38
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by 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. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was
I would have been nervous too if I heard the words, "Rejoice highly favored one..."  I'd be skeptical of who this was, and what this was about.  This is a common reaction to an angel's appearance in the Bible.    
30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 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. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"
Her response is so sincere.  What!!?  Wait a minute...

35 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, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 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. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.
38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. 
Her faith must've been very strong.  She happily and willingly submits, acknowledging she is His maidservant.  Perhaps this is why God chose her to bear His Son.  Her faith is simple trust, she is humble, and wise.  You would think God would choose a wealthy family, people with educations, and a big safe house.  But not our God.  He chose Mary and Joseph, two hardworking young people, with a simple faith that helped change the world.  I can only imagine what Mary must've been thinking after meeting Gabriel.  I would've been going over this for awhile in my mind.

P.S.  I didn't get to doing new artwork this year, but I did add some music for the parts of the story.
Here's a song that describes how Mary may have felt:   A Baby Changes Everything - Faith Hill (link)

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