This Christmas season, I’m going to do the Good Morning Girls Advent Bible study using the YouVersion Bible app. I’m going to try to follow their SOAP approach (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer). I’m a day late starting this, but here we go!
Scripture: Luke 1:26-38
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth.
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, “Hail, thou that are highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said until her, “Fear not, Mary, for thou has found favor with God.”
And, behond, thou shalt conceive in they womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the highest, and the Lord God shall give until him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Then Mary said unto the angel, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”
And the angel answered and said unto her, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, they cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the six month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be made impossible.“
And Mary said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” And the angel departed from her.
- Mary is highly favored by the Lord.
- Even Mary wasn’t sure how to address the angel (“…she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of situation this should be.”)
- Nothing — not a virgin conceiving the Son of God, or a barren woman conceiving a child in her old age — is impossible with God.
- Mary trusted the angel, and accepted the challenge.
- Although the Lord may be calling us to do something — big or small — it’s easy for us to be hesitant. But we must listen and trust the guidance we’re being given, even if we don’t fully understand thy how or the why behind it.
- Mary was highly favored by the Lord. Does this mean we have to be perfect non-sinners to be called to something? No. Everybody sins. It is God’s examination of our heart that brings about favor — if we care for others and have an open heart (and mind), we can take on the good works that bring our faith to life.
- God prepares our hearts and the path for the things he asks of us. Mary didn’t know how it would be possible for her to conceive a child when she “didn’t know a man.” But the angel explained not only how it would be possible for her, but also pointed to Elisabeth — who was called barren — who conceived in her old age.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the meaning of the Christmas season. For sending your son down to earth — down to us — to save us all and give us hope and joy. Please open my heart and my family’s hearts this season, and give us the opportunity to be generous and share the meaning of this time with others. Thank you for your never-ending patience, and for the blessings you have given us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.