Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from 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. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And 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 bear a son, and you shall 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 to 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 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
I was watching a football game on television the other day and a commercial came on for the Lexus car company. In the ad they showed people with new Lexus vehicles in their driveways with bows on them and invited the viewer to get in on the “December to Remember” sales event. A Lexus is a nice vehicle, but 100 years from now nobody is going to remember whether we drove a Lexus, a Lincoln, or a 20 year old Subaru. Long after we’re gone it won’t be the cars, houses, clothes, or retirement accounts that will be remembered. What will last are the relationships we build for Christ, the money and time we invest in God’s Kingdom, the people we serve in Jesus name, and the neighbors we lead to the Lord for the glory of God!
I think it is safe to say that Mary had a Christmas to remember, or should I say the only Christmas that should be remembered? The angel Gabriel appeared to her with no sales pitch, just a promise that she would become pregnant by miraculous divine means and give birth to the Messiah. Now that’s truly unforgettable! When the angel came and spoke to Mary she saw impossible circumstances. “How can I have a child when I have not known a man,” she asked. But the angel Gabriel reminded her that nothing is impossible with God!
What is so amazing to me in this is Mary’s response. She didn’t fight it. She didn’t complain. She didn’t offer another more palatable, more culturally acceptable option. She responded simply that she was the Lord’s servant and may it be done to her as He said. Nobody would believe she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. No one was going to accept that somehow she was carrying the Son of God. She would be ridiculed, talked about, cast aside, and scoffed at. However, she considered being associated with the Messiah more important than being accepted by the masses. How about you?
You want to have a Christmas to remember? Then remember what Christmas is all about. It’s not about a stupid car, some dumb gifts, a fat guy in a red suit, a bunch of goofy toys, or some expensive diamonds and pearls. I don’t mean to be brash, but I’m fed up with the glory of God being tarnished at Christmas by our materialism. Aren’t you?! Make this a Christmas to remember by remembering that Christmas is all about Jesus, and by living like Mary. As she said, “I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to Your Word.”
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the greatest Christmas gift ever, your only Son Jesus. Help me to remember this Christmas that it’s not about gifts, trees, shopping, or a busy schedule. Christmas is all about You Jesus. Lord, this Christmas I am Your servant. Lead my life according to Your Word.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.