Daily Bread December 24

He Will Be Called the Son of God
Richard Betts, Lee’s Summit, MO, USA

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High…” -Luke 1:30-32

The angel Gabriel appears twice in the Gospel of Luke. First when he delivers a message to Zachariah foretelling the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:19). Second (referred to in today’s scripture) when he comes before Mary and announces that she is to give birth to the Son of God.

These two appearances are almost identical, except in one way-in the response of the receiver. Zachariah is made dumb and unable to speak until John is born because he “did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” Initially Mary also responds by being “greatly troubled at his words.” Yet, despite her fears she finally responds in faith saying, “I am the Lord’s servant…May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Zachariah had all the right credentials. He was male, married, older, and a priest. Mary, on the other hand, was female, young, unmarried, and a virgin. Yet we see that it is Mary who has the greater faith. Despite these differences, God chooses to bless both Zechariah and Mary. They are both miraculously given a son who will bring about the fulfillment of ancient prophecies.

God doesn’t bless us according to our age, gender, or status in life. God blesses us according to God’s own purposes. For God’s grace is freely and generously given and is poured out abundantly across the spectrum of humanity. We just need to have the faith to respond.

Advent Prayer Phrase

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).

Advent Spiritual Practice

Breathe deeply and spend a few moments inviting silence to deepen around you. Pay attention to what is forming in you this day as you prayerfully consider the following questions: What awareness or gift begins to emerge in you through the practice of waiting? When do you notice being invited to resist rushing to the next thing and remain present with what may be slowly unfolding? What can you learn from being fully present in the waiting times?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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