Then the angel told her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. Luke 1:30-31

It started with a young girl who had recently become engaged to a carpenter named Joseph. Mary was an ordinary Jewish girl, looking forward to marriage. Suddenly her life changed forever; she found herself in the presence of the angel Gabriel Luke 1:28

When the angel entered her home, he greeted her and said, "The Lord favors you! The Lord is with you." Somehow I don't think it "felt" like she had found favor with God. Scripture says she was startled, afraid, and in disbelief. But Mary responded with humble obedience. God had chosen her to carry the Christ child. She had to trust Him through it all. Through all of her doubt, fear, uncertainty, and disbelief

Emperor Augustus ordered a census of the Roman Empire. And so, a newly betrothed couple is forced to register for a census in a town far away. Joseph and Mary (nine months pregnant) traveled 90 miles by foot, possibly on a donkey, over extremely mountainous terrain to Bethlehem. When they finally reach their destination after an arduous journey, overcrowded Bethlehem had only a stable. So Mary gave birth to the Savior of the world in a humble, lowly stable among barn animals. Our Savior was wrapped in bandage-like strips of cloth and placed in the niche of the rock used as a feeding trough. At that moment, in the middle of all the chaos, Mary held her newborn Son and looked on His face for the first time. Accepting God's ability to do the impossible and gratefully moving forward in faith doesn't mean the path will always be easy or even understandable; we can be assured that God will always provide and always be with us.


Christmas provides a wonderful opportunity for reflection One of the most important questions you can ask yourself this season:

“What does the birth of Jesus Christ mean to me?”

It is a simple question with deep and powerful answers.