The Christmas story we find in the gospels is compelling and fascinating. The birth narratives in Matthew and Luke make for really
good story telling, hence the reason we’re still talking about this story more
than 2000 years later.
That said, perhaps the lead up to Jesus birth is as
compelling than the actual moment when Jesus was born. Four characters in
particular make up some of the leading events in Luke 1: Zechariah &
Elisabeth, Mary & Joseph.
These couples had one thing in common, they were
expecting a child; what was different was their age. Elisabeth was older in
years and Mary was a teenager. For different reasons, both weren’t expecting to be
Luke 1:26-38
documents some of their story; a story God uses to show us how impossible
things are actually possible with him.
From nowhere (special) comes something (spectacular)
Luke starts this section by telling us that the Angel (Gabriel) goes
to Nazareth to give Mary and Joseph a message. We know the message Gabriel is
about to give, but what’s important to note is the town this takes place in.
Luke is intentional in mentioning that Mary and Joseph are from Nazareth, for geographical reasons, but
also for theological ones. Jesus was going to be born in a manger in Bethlehem, which lead us to see that Jesus was going to have a humble entrance
into the world. Nazareth/Galilee was also a small town (region), especially in
comparison to Jerusalem/Judea. It’s out of this small and insignificant place
that Jesus’ human life begins (pre-birth).
Nothing good was ever supposed to come from Nazareth. They
said this about Jesus when he was an adult, so you know it rang true his whole
life. God, in his sense of humour, chooses a small town for Jesus
to come from. This is how God works; he doesn’t look for people of status to
do remarkable things, rather, he chooses unlikely places and unlikely people.
God’s Favour? Our Trouble?
What does God do with this girl from nowhere? He says to
her, you are highly favoured. Some people think God favoured her because she
was special, but that’s not the case. There was nothing more special about Mary
then anyone else, except of course her willingness to serve God (1:38)
God has a way of picking ordinary people to accomplish
extraordinary things. Mary is a perfect example of that. 
Now you might be thinking: God wouldn’t use me, I’m way to
feisty, I’d probably complain lots before saying yes, I’m no where close to
being ready to be used by God for anything life or world changing. However, even though Mary was favoured, she did put up a bit of a
“Mary was greatly
troubled and wondered what kind of greeting this might be”
(NRSV) “Mary was perplexed and pondered”
(JB) “Mary was deeply disturbed and asked herself”
The original language actually reveals these words as
meaning that Mary was ‘deeply agitated’, and not for a short time, but for a
little while. God’s favour on us doesn’t mean that we don’t wrestle with his calling on us. We often go back and forth from feeling favoured, to feeling troubled.
Impossible? Yes!  /  Possible? Yes!
Mary is perplexed for a reason. The math doesn’t add up.
How is she going to have a baby? She’s a virgin and not planning for that to
change anytime soon.
The angel says, ‘God is going to do this, it is not
something you can do.’
uses her cousin Elisabeth as an example, saying that she had no hope of having
children, then 6 months later…she’s with child.  If
this can happen to an ‘older woman’ who’s biological clock stopped ticking a
long time ago (insert quote from my cousin Vinnie), then it can happen to you. Only one explanation – GOD.
What do you see as impossible? Maybe it’s not too late or too soon for
something beautiful to be born. 
Maybe the
present moment is pregnant with possibilities we can’t see or even imagine?
That’s the point, we can’t make it happen, only God can.
What do
we take home from this pre-christmas story???
– Waiting
for God is worth every minute/month/year!
– God
doesn’t look at our status as a prerequisite to doing something special, he
looks on us with favour, gives us the status (as his children) we need to do
remarkable things
– This
story begs the question? What’s your impossible? What is God wanting to blow
your mind with? Is it a character thing, a career thing, a personal thing, an
impact thing? Whatever it is, God wants you to know, that even though you think
it’s impossible, with him, it’s more than possible!

–  Our
best response to God’s ‘Here I am’ is “Here I am”. (Luke 1:38)