As you have been blessed by the gift of God in the coming of Christ at Advent, please consider how your giving for the Christmas Offering to support Regional Ministry may bless the whole Church and world.  You may give through your local Disciples congregation, or at www.wvdisciples.org/support.  Congregations of the WV Region’s congregations whose members give online will still receive credit for the gift for Yearbook outreach reporting.

Read Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

 

from Rev. Judy Bennett

Bridgeport, OH

Ho Hum – the Annunciation scripture. That time again already? Didn’t we just do this?

Wow! What’s going on here? Have I allowed this powerful passage to become as mundane and boring as the Christmas decorations in the stores long before Halloween? What’s new about this? The angel Gabriel comes to the Virgin Mary, makes the big announcement, and we begin the trek to Bethlehem.   I’d better read it again and again and again to see how this could be newly applied to me today.   And there it is! It finally jumped off the page and hit me right where I live: “…for you have found favor with God.”

Oh, how I struggle to be who God wants me to be….to find favor with God. And suddenly I know that this announcement to Mary was and is also for me. And, yes, it is exciting! Definitely not mundane nor boring. The message of the angel is a gift to me – to erase built up fears and bring with it all of the hope and peace and joy and love that the birth of the Christ child brings to the world. Have I found favor with God today?

God of love, as I join those journeying towards Bethlehem,

may I continue to try to do what is pleasing in your sight,

that I may forever be in your favor.   Amen.

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