Advent Devotional: Week Two - Tuesday

Scripture Reading: Luke 1: 34-38

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

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. 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. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

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.

The story of Jesus’ birth is a wonderfully unique story in the history of humanity, and nothing shows us this more clearly than a brief look at the diverse cast of characters who participated in this unrivaled event. One of the first important characters to appear is the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit who moved over the waters of creation in Genesis 1 is now breathed into Mary to create the holy child. In this passage the “Most High” travels from the highest throne of heaven to visit his presence on the lowly home of Mary.

This story is one of the great miracles of the Bible. It is utterly beyond our comprehension to understand or fathom how Mary could become pregnant from God. Yet God did it. He descended from his heights of his holy home into the midst of our broken and fleshly humanity. Mary never looked for God to do this. She was astonished by the visit. God pursued her in his plan to keep his promise of redemption. Stop for a moment and slowly reread this well-known story. Allow yourself to be captured by this picture of the God who loves you! Be amazed by the work of the Holy Spirit—in creation and in Mary. And then consider the work of the Holy Spirit in your life and continue in your astonishment.

Prayer: Wonderfully Wise God, we admit your ways are higher than ours and we fail in our ability to understand your great miracles on our behalf. Give us ears to hear and eyes to see so that we can marvel with Mary at the wonders of your son Jesus’ birth. Don’t let the familiarity of the story limit our amazement. Let us pause, consider, and be utterly astonished at what you did! Give us faith to believe what you can do—in us, in others, and in this world!

Advent Singing: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee. Israel's strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring. By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone; by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.

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