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Monday, December 20, 2021

The Angel Gabriel
Artist: Martin Schongauer (German, Colmar ca. 1435/50–1491 Breisach)

Monday, December 20, 2021

Isaiah 7:10-14; 
Psalm 24
Luke 1: 26-38

Today’s Gospel reading from Luke is a good reminder that God can come to us at any time, unexpectedly, and under the most unusual circumstances.  Here, God has come to a young, unknown woman in an obscure village in Galilee. This surprising call to Mary evokes initial fear and questioning in her; however, God through the angel Gabriel, offers her a sign in the pregnancy of Elizabeth, a previously barren relative.  Then Mary freely and openly assents. 

Gabriel has told Mary that she has found favour with God.  As with Mary, I believe that we have all found favour with God.  And God has a mission for each of us, which may be presented to us at the most unlikely time or place.  I wonder if my own fears could ever get in the way of giving such a generous response to God.  Could I respond with “yes” as immediately and unequivocally as Mary did if God came to me in the same way?  Could you?

I trust we would not demonstrate the disbelief of Ahaz, King of Judah in the Isaiah reading, to the promise of God.  Again, God provides a sign, but unlike Mary, the response of Ahaz is quite the opposite.  Despite this, God repeats his prophecy of a promise to Judah and to us through the prophet Isaiah – Immanuel, God with us.  It is a sign we remember and celebrate this Advent with love and gratitude.  

Sandi Patterson