When An Angel Speaks
Now that we've reached January, here's one look at three people central to the Christmas story, and how they responded to God's plan. Something to think about as a new year rolls around.
Zacharias - Righteous Before God (Luke 1:5-6)
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
Mary - Highly Favoured (Luke 1:28)
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Joseph - A Just Man (Matt 1:19)
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily
All three believe that God was able to save them from the eternal consequences of sin. The were righteous, favoured, and just - certainly they were Old Testament saints trusting in the promised Messiah for Salvation. But each had a different reaction to the message the Angel brought.
Zacharias - Disbelief (Luke 1:18)
And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
While Zacharias believed that God could save him in a miraculous way, he doubted God could use him in a miraculous way. He also doubted God could use those around him to accomplish His will.
Mary - Request (Luke 1:34)
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
Unlike Zacharias' response, Mary's question is 'how will this be' not 'how can I believe you'. She believed that God could use her in a miraculous way - she just wanted to be sure she understood it all correctly.
Acceptance (Luke 1:38)
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Once her question was answered, she shows her belief that God would use her to accomplish something great.
Joseph - Belief (Matt 1:38)
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
Joseph's response was belief. Not just that God could use his life to accomplish His will, but that God could use the lives of those he knew closely, in spite of how things may appear, in a miraculous way.
As we face a new year, remember that the same God that saved us is most certainly able to use us. And that those around us - who we know so well, who do things differently then we would, with flaws we are so very aware of - can, and will, be used by God. Regardless of how the circumstances may seem to us.