Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas story: The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38)

Christmas time is fast approaching.  Every year my family, starting on the first of December, goes through the Christmas story as we help Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem.  Since I am going to miss this tradition for the second year in a row, I have decided to post a series of blog entries about the birth of the Savior.  As I do this, I am going to try and fulfill the words of Nephi when he said, “I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning (1st Nephi 19:23).”  The reason I have decided that we are to liken scriptures to us is so we can learn.  It is great to read the stories of the Savior, but unless we apply them to our lives we will not get nearly the same out of them.  So as with any story, better begin at the beginning. 

About 2,000 years ago, in a land far, far away…

A young woman in the city of Nazareth is minding her business for the day.  Her name is Mary.  It is just like every other day when suddenly an angel appears unto her and declares, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” 

The account continues that Mary “was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.”  Honestly, I do not blame her for wondering what was going on.  I would be a little startled as well if I were to be visited in such a way.

"The Annunciation" by John Scott

The angel then continues his message to Mary.  He tells her to fear not and tells her that she will conceive and bring forth a son and that she should call his name Jesus.  He explains the great things that Jesus is going to do and how He is going to rule.  Mary then asks how it is going to happen and the angel explains it to her.  Mary then shows her submission and desire to accomplish God’s will when she states, “Be it unto me, according to thy word.”

The angel appears later to Joseph and recites to him a similar message.  Joseph and Mary are wed and the journey to Bethlehem commences.

In our lives the same thing happens on a more regular basis than I feel we give credit.  We go through our lives unaware of what God has in store for us next.  Then out of the blue, someone or something comes and changes our plans.  It can either be a family member, a church leader, a friend, or a situation or trial we are put through.  Whatever the case, we can come to the conclusion that God has something else in store for us; something great and marvelous for us to do. 

The real point of the story is though that we have to always be preparing.  Mary was not chosen randomly.  She had lived her life in such a way that God could trust her with this great responsibility.  Likewise, we need to prepare every day and show God our willingness to do His will in all things.  God in return will then give us greater opportunities and greater responsibilities so that we can continue to grow.  None of us will be asked to mother the Savior; but we all will be asked to do some great thing.  I am sure of that.

1 comment:

  1. We have started Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem again. After repeating this journey with our children for 17 years, we are finding that there are still things to learn. I feel this is why we are encouraged to study our scriptures daily. We never know what the Lord has in mind for us today.


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