That Time of Year


 by Carla O’Brien

It’s that time of year.  No…not the shopping, and schlepping…and sales anxiety…oh my!

ADVENT.  Advent in the Christian church is the time of preparation for the arrival and celebration of the Christ Child. It is about preparing our minds and hearts for the miracle.

Over the years I have thought a great deal about Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was a  teenager, an unwed teenager. Most Biblical scholars agree she was around the age of 15 when she gave birth to the Savior of the world.

I want to take a minute with you today to look at Scripture to see how Mary prepared her heart and her mind for the birth of Jesus.

In the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1 verse 28 the angel, Gabriel appears to a teenage virgin Mary. “The angel came to her and said, “Greetings, you are highly favored. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.”

Scripture goes on to say that Mary’s initial response was that she was troubled and considered in her mind, (basically) “who, me?”

This is key right here, BELOVED sisters. The angel calms her fears and tells her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.”

No fear and favor with God.

Gabriel goes on to explain to her that she will conceive in her womb a son and His name will be Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest. Then Mary asked the angel, “How can this be since I do not know a man?” The angel had already confirmed that she should not fear and has found favor with God.

Mary is wondering, but she is not doubting. The beauty of her attitude can be yours and mine.

Mary responds in verse 38; “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be unto me according to your word.”

Beloved Sisters, we have the Word. We have God’s promises. Mary had a personal encounter with the angel, Gabriel. You can also. The word is alive. Read it and embrace it. Scripture has no time limit.

Let’s read aloud together The Song of Mary in verse 47-55:

And Mary said:

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For He has regarded the low estate of His servant; surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has pulled down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of low degree. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, and He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Let Mary’s song of celebration be yours this Advent season as you prepare your heart and mind for the miracle. 

P.S.  (P.L.A.Yground Stuff) Simple culinary question: What kind of birthday cake do you believe Jesus preferred? Something with dates and figs? I’m betting on Hummingbird cake. (my personal favorite) Comment your suggestions below.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!


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