December 23rd Advent Devotional

If We Remember

Wade Halva

Luke 1:26-38

Upon our arrival in the 1st chapter of Luke’s Gospel we are greeted by angels bringing promises of children. If we remember, this isn’t too terribly uncommon an experience in Scripture.

Gabriel appears to Zechariah, while he is serving in the temple, and gives Zechariah the news that he and Elizabeth are going to be parents. Zechariah responds with disbelief, asking how can this be, for he is old, and Elizabeth is well along in years. If we remember, that’s almost exactly what Abram and Sarai wanted to know. Zechariah struggles to believe that is could be possible with God, and must remain silent until the appointed time.

Six months later, Gabriel visits Mary. Again the message is conveyed that she will bear a child. And this child will be special, he shall be the child of the Most High. Mary responds with disbelief, asking how can this be for she is a virgin. Yet that doesn’t stop Mary, if we remember.

When God approaches us, so often we respond with disbelief. And we’re in good company. We stand with so many of the Scriptural narrative, who found it hard to believe that they were what God needed. In this season of expectant waiting, can we imagine that God is waiting for us as well? What if it isn’t just the world that awaits the birth of the child, but the child who awaits a world to welcome its entry? If we remember what God has done, how to we wait differently?

God whose birth we await, help us to remember the story that brings us to this point. May we remember that others had their doubts and fears about what you were telling them was going to happen, and that you remained with them. As heaven and earth draw near to one another, may we draw nearer to you. Amen.

Wade Halva is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Marion, Illinois, 350 miles south of Chicago.

©2019 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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