Today's Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14, St. Luke 1:26-38
“For with God nothing will be impossible.” (St. Luke 1:37)
In the Name of Jesus. Amen. The above little sentence is seen on T-shirts and posters. You can get what you want from God. You can win the big game. You can do anything, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Give up that sort of talk today!
But all those different things, while good and decent, pale in comparison to the angel’s announcement of the truly impossible to Mary. When the angel Gabriel proclaims to Mary that she is with Child by the Holy Spirit, it means God is doing the impossible.
Mary was a virgin. That word is used three times in today’s Gospel: “The angel came to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph” (St. Luke 1:27). “The Virgin’s name was Mary,” (St. Luke 1:27). “How can this be?” says Mary, “For I am a Virgin,” (St. Luke 1:34). Mary hadn’t “known” a man. (That’s “know” in the Biblical sense, like a husband “knows” his wife.) She hadn’t had any sort of relations with him. That’s what being a “virgin” is all about!
Do you want to know the “impossible” that God did for Mary? The virgin conceived. She was made to be with child.. Not by her doing something to become un-virginal, but by God’s Word put into her ears! Virgins don’t just become pregnant. There must have been some messing around with someone! So says the world, books of religion, and faithless “historians.” This just doesn’t happen. It’s impossible.
Yes, it is impossible, and God did this impossible thing for your salvation. Mary really did get pregnant, but not the way your mom got pregnant with you. No, Mary got pregnant by means of the Word put into her ears. The Holy Spirit came upon her and the power of the Most High overshadowed her, and her Son is the Son of the Most High.
The Word of the angel is good for Mary. Faith receives the Word and we are saved. Not saved by what we do, but by the Word, which delivers all that God does for us! For Mary, the Word delivers a Boy through her ears into her womb. For you, the Word delivers all that Jesus did for you: His holy life and His innocent suffering and death.
“Nothing is impossible with God.” That “nothing” is the Virgin birth. You might want to fast from using that expression for anything that pales in comparison to that miracle! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
“O Lord, as we have known the incarnation of Your Son Jesus Christ by the message of the angel to the Virgin Mary, so by the message of His Cross and passion, bring us to the glory of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.” (Collect for the Annunciation)