In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, "Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you! [Blessed are you among women.]" Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. "Don’t be afraid, Mary," the angel told her, "for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David. And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!"
(Luke 1:26-33) NLT
How long had the Jews been waiting, hoping, and yearning for this baby? They had been waiting since the first promise of a Savior, right after the fall in Genesis. Many are the prophecies about this baby in the scriptures. They had been waiting for so long that many had [or had lost hope]given up hope. Most still clung to a form of their ancient religion, but they no longer believed in its power.
Have we also given up hope? Have we also lost our faith in what God can do in our lives today? In the words of today’s reading is the hope of the ages. It’s not just a birth announcement; it’s God entering into our world. He is going to be one of us. He will live like us. He will be cold and hot, hungry and full, sad and happy. All of the things that we are and all of the things that we experience will be His lot too. He will be born weak and powerless just as we were. He will be one of us! How much He must love us to want to be with us that much.
The promise of a baby borne of a virgin is something only God can do. There can be no counterfeits. The promise is real. It is genuine. In it is the foundation of the hope we can have that God cares about us, about me … about you. He is doing the impossible for us. He is doing it for no other reason than He cares for us. He loves us so much He is willing to become one of us. Believe in that love. Believe in the hope He brings to us.