God comes to the humble...
and not just at Christmas. Christmas, 2016.
Why Mary? Why Nazareth, and for that matter, why Joseph? Surely they were devoted to God, faithful and humble. It seems that the humble are most ready to hear from God. He could have used any means to communicate with Mary and Joseph, but God used angels to speak to the pair who would raise up the boy Jesus. Angels at Christmas? Why, of course!
Indeed when the angel Gabriel came to call on Mary, she was at home in Nazareth. Her little home has been excavated and preserved, while overhead a magnificent church has been erected-the Basilica of the Annunciation.
If you look at the center of this picture, you can see the excavated wall of Mary's tiny home-just incredible.
An angel also visited Joseph in a dream, and told him not to be afraid to "take Mary as his wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1.20-21) Joseph believed God, and rather than casting Mary aside, welcomed and loved her and the babe within her womb.
listen to this great song: 'A Strange Way to Save the World'
In Nazareth today, adjacent to the same property of the Basilica of the Annunciation, (built over the home of Mary), is St. Joseph's Church. Well below the church is the excavated site of what is believed to be Joseph's workshop, the place where Joseph would have built with wood and stone, where he would have taught Jesus the same trade. Joseph must have made the table under which our Lord's feet would have rested as he ate his evening meals-isn't that something to consider?
St. Joseph's Church in Nazareth:
Angels announce Jesus' coming to a humble man and young woman who forever have a place in history as the earthly parents of the Savior of the world. Wow! At God's bidding, angels came separately to Mary and Joseph, to announce the conception of the Son of God. Angels ... beautiful, graceful and powerful ~ used of God. No wonder we adore them!
But do not miss that the angels just delivered the message from God.
God still speaks, my friends. Here's the question: are you able to hear him?
Are you desirous of hearing God's voice?
He will speak to you from the pages of Scripture,
he may speak to you in a dream-as he did Mary and Joseph.
God may speak in a still, small voice within,
and he may speak in another way altogether..
But know this: we serve a God who is alive, and who longs to commune with his children personally. Are you his child? Then, give God a little space, a little quiet, in which to speak, and you will surely hear from him ~ right now at Christmas time and well into the future!