Herald Journal Columns
March 31, 2003
Pastor's Column

Annunciation of our Lord ­ the miracle of His birth

By Rev. Grant T. Bode, St. Paul's Lutheran, Lester Prairie

Luke 1:26-28

26 God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,

27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary.

28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you."

Where do babies come from? What parent hasn't been asked that question before?

Even little children begin to realize and question the old adage that the stork brings little babies. Babies come from mom and dad, we say.

As Christians we will stress the importance of how babies are born and that all life is precious and is to be cherished, and too in our day and age we too cannot forget to stress the importance of marriage then children.

Not only is this the most God pleasing route, but going about it the other direction can often create undo stress and fear and often puts not only the mother into a precarious situation, but most certainly the baby.

Pregnancy.

For a human female we learn in biology classes the normal gestation period is nine months. It is within these nine months a baby grows and matures.

Probably most of us have seen the stages of development. Only within the last years and decades have ultrasounds and medical tests become so acute that we can actually see pictures of these changes that occur, even in the womb. It is a miracle.

And, although we may know more now than ever, it still is a mystery of how this whole process of life happens.

Last week (March 25) is traditionally marked as the day the angel Gabriel came to Mary to announce that she was going to have a child, and that this child would be the very Son of the Living God. He would be the Messiah that had been longed throughout the Old Testament.

What is miraculous about this pregnancy is not the gestation period. As far as Scripture is concerned it was a normal nine month pregnancy.

What is miraculous is how she became pregnant. Mary was a virgin.

I know that flies in the face of all we "scientifically know," but the people of the Bible knew and understood as well what they were saying. Luke, after all, (the writer of this Gospel) was a doctor (Col 4:14).

He, as a doctor, probably delivered the occasional baby, and yet he writes these words:

34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

37 For nothing is impossible with God."

So by the power of God's spoken word, Mary was pregnant, for nothing is impossible with God. Nothing.

It was not easy for Mary after the angel Gabriel left her. Soon Joseph had made up his mind even to divorce her, for he was pledged to marry her, and in those days being pledged was a legally binding contract, and to break that contract meant a letter of divorce.

Fortunately he was warned in a dream not to do this, but to marry Mary and raise this child, for this child would be the Messiah of the whole world throughout all ages.

Remember, too, it was not easy for Mary after that angel Gabriel left, because I am sure she was shunned by those in Nazareth who felt her pregnancy was illegitimate. Not to mention Bethlehem and all that transpired there with the difficulty in finding a room in an inn.

But, thanks be to God that in His wise providence all things worked out to his glory and desire, as they always do! That is comforting news, whether unexpectantly pregnant or whatever the situation may be in your life, with deep prayer and unmovable faith God will work it out accordingly.

To God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) be all the glory forever and ever. Amen


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