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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent, Day 25

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JOURNEY to the MANGER: Advent 2010
Luke 1:26-38
Dennis P. Hollinger

The Annunciation
In this classic text of the Christmas season, we are given an intimate glimpse of a key moment in salvation history. This is in many respects what we should expect from a story about an angelic announcement of a birth, as such stories frequently occur in the Old Testament before divinely appointed leaders are born. In this story however, the miracle is amplified by Mary’s simple question in verse 34, “How will this be… since I am a virgin?” The angel’s answer provides the basis for one of the most profound and important mysteries of God’s revelation in Jesus. God will become a human being. And Mary is to give him a name that will sum up his mission and personhood with perfect clarity: Jesus, “The Lord Saves.”

The magnitude of this great revelation to Mary is contrasted with Mary’s own station. She is but a young woman, still unmarried, from a small backwater part of a backwater province of the Roman Empire. And yet God has chosen the small things of the world to bring about a great salvation. Mary is herself quite cognizant of this contrast, and her response is a model to all of us, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said” (vs. 38). In this simple expression of faith, Mary models a proper response to God’s gift in Jesus. May we respond likewise this Advent season.

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

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