November 30 – December 5
The Peace of Christ
Monday, November 30 Luke 1:26-33
“You will be with child and give birth to a son”
The announcement to Mary parallels the announcement to Zechariah, but the differences are also significant. Whereas the first announcement takes place in the temple in the center of Israelite culture, this one takes place in an obscure Galilean village well north of the capital. The humble nature of the announcement parallels the humble nature of Jesus’ birth and ministry. With her home in Nazareth, we know that Mary came from humble, agrarian roots. Galilee was not a respected region. It was hardly the expected locale for one sent from God.
Gabriel, the same angel who spoke to Zechariah, brings the divine message. Luke identifies Mary as a virgin, engaged to Joseph; that is, she was pledged to him sometime in the previous year. A Jewish betrothal involved two steps: the formal engagement including a contract and exchange of a bridal price, and then about a year later, a wedding. Mary’s age is not given, but in this culture she could be as young as twelve. Mary’s initial fear is calmed when the angel explains the reason for his presence. She has “found favor” with God.
When I am tempted to pride, Lord, remind me of your humble birth. Amen.
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