December 24 - Witnesses of the Messiah: Mary
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
There will be no Sunday school this Sunday because of our Christmas Eve schedule.
26 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.
In our fourth Sunday of Advent, we will look at the witness of Mary, the mother of Jesus. We find her testimony in the gospel of Luke. Luke’s intention in his gospel is to show that Jesus has come as Savior to rescue the needy and broken in fulfillment of the scriptures. To secure the details of Jesus' birth, Luke must have interviewed Mary to hear of the angel and his message. In this divine encounter, we see that Mary was chosen by God, given a glorious but mysterious message, and called to a choice that was demanding. In Mary, we not only see the glory of this child born Savior but we see faith, humility, and a submission that beg imitation.
Review and Apply
How would explain the greeting of Gabriel to a Roman Catholic?
What was the cause of Mary's trouble after being greeted with a word of grace?
How do the various names of Jesus (31-35) explain his person and purpose?
How does this passage describe Jesus as both God and man?
In what areas does Mary's response challenge you? In faith, humility or submission?
In what areas does the reality of 'for nothing is impossible with God' call you to greater faith?
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