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December 21, 2023



In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail.” Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

Luke 1:26-38 NLT



For four hundred years the children of Israel had no prophetic word from God. They continued to worship in the Temple, offer their sacrifices, and attempt to fulfill the requirements of the Law as they waited for the Messiah. Some had given up, thinking God had forsaken them.

An angel comes to Mary, a young virgin engaged to be married to a carpenter. They lived in the obscure village of Nazareth. Yet they were chosen of God to be the conduit for His Son into the world.

Can you imagine for a moment how Mary felt with this visitation and promise. It was confusing because her natural mind could not comprehend these things. Why would God choose her?

Mary was available. She was willing to endure the hostility, the misunderstandings, and even the rejection of others to be a part of God’s plan. She had to be afraid that Joseph would reject her—the story would sound too far out and weird for him.

The inner turmoil must have been great. How do I tell Joseph? How do I know this is real?

Mary responded by simply accepting God’s gift and plan. She did not try to offer God something in return. God’s grace had chosen her, and she had nothing but obedience to offer in return.

Proud people struggle with accepting gifts. They want to have a “gift exchange” where they give something in exchange for getting something. The humble are the ones who can accept a gift knowing there is nothing they can do to repay that gift.

Perhaps our best response to God’s grace this Christmas is to simply say, “I am the Lord’s Servant.” We choose to serve Jesus as Lord of our lives.

In obedience we become servants of Jesus.



Holy Spirit, today we open our hearts and lives to You. I recognize I have nothing to bring except my obedience to You. Thank-you for your grace.

“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”

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Dec 21, 2023

When God chooses us to do something we must be brave.


What an amazing gift of God’s grace—a baby born in a manager to express God’s love to me!

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