I've probably worn out my coverage of the weather but, are you kidding me with this cold! I don't remember a December with temps so low and winds so high it makes the windchill factor like 30 below. I was real glad that I had no place to go after we'd returned from church. On my agenda was to get all my presents wrapped and ready for transport and I fulfilled my goal, almost. Standing, sitting, standing, it took a toll on my back so I decided the best thing was to wrap everything and put a tag on the bottom with the recipient's name and then put the ribbons on, Monday or Tuesday. As it was, in the aftermath, I had to use a heating pad on my back between the shoulders as I reminisced about the days gone by, when all of this seemed so easy. There was a time like that, wasn't there?
But enough about the weather, the wind, the aches and the pains. It's not interesting to anybody else. Besides, everybody gets to this place sooner or later. What I really wanted to talk about tonight was story of the angel coming to Mary, telling her about what was coming. I can't help but try to put a story like that in contemporary terms and imagine that happening today. Can you imagine, a little (a young) girl from a small town, looking up and seeing an angel? I'd immediately think I had lost my mind and that I was seeing things. This couldn't be happening!
No one sees an actual angel, do they?
Well, here the angel is and begins telling this girl that she's going to give birth and she's probably thinking, hey, wait a minute, I'm a virgin and there is NO WAY I'm having a baby. Now that's screwy enough news, impossible news, impossible event. I am engaged to this guy, Joseph, but Joseph and I have never had...sex. What would people think if I was pregnant, what would they think of me... and, oh my goodness, what will Joseph think? I don't know if I would be as polite as Mary was. The story goes that she says she's perplexed at the things the angel says. I would be, "Are you kidding me?'
But Mary listens to the rest of this announcement and learns that she has found favor in God's eyes and this baby is going to be a miracle, the long awaited Savior. That was a lot to swallow. Being regarded as special, so special that God had chosen me to carry His Son. Now that I can't imagine. Mary on the other hand listens attentively and finally realizes a very important lesson. Granted, from the beginning, this whole thing is unimaginable but it does teach us an incredible lesson, 1) God keeps His promises and 2) there is nothing so impossible that God can't do it.
At this Christmas time, we reflect on the first Christmas in Bethlehem. We again visit the manger and see the baby Jesus and those of faith see God's miracle of becoming human, for us and for what was to come. It is said, "Faith is believing without seeing", and it is. But everyday there are events that prove God's ability to do the impossible. It's hard enough trying to put the myself in Mary's shoes much less having an angel be the messenger with this extraordinary story of God's plan. But I believe it happened. And what's more, impossible things happen everyday and that confirms for me that God is at work in the here and now.
May your here and now be blessed with faith and love and the revelation that with God, nothing is impossible!