Saturday, November, 28, 2020 | 7:19 PM | by June
“The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.’” (Luke 1:35a)
I must admit that 2020 has been an “impossible” year. For many of us, getting to the New Year may even seem impossible. One thing I have found helpful in my coping with this year is to reflect on my passage through other “impossible” moments of life; times when I was faced with situations clearly beyond my human ability; times when I felt totally unprepared and unequipped for the situation at hand; times when it would have been simpler to admit my limitations and quit. You know those “impossible” times. The “impossible” may have been the mending of a broken relationship, the leaving of a destructive habit, or having a healthy family in an unhealthy world. You can certainly think of one if not many “impossibilities” you have or are facing.
Mary was faced with just such an “impossibility”.
The angel Gabriel had proclaimed to her how she, a virgin, would bear a Son. One who was unique and without precedent. Not only would he be “the Son of the Most High,” but “the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David...and His kingdom will never end.” Mary does not question that such a child is beyond God’s powers; she does wonder how it is “possible” for her, a virgin, to bear such a son. Gabriel answers “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you...for nothing is impossible with God.” (v. 35a, 37). She would receive the creative presence of God’s Spirit. As our gracious God had created faith in her, through his Holy Spirit, he now would create a child in her. He would enable the humanly “impossible” to become “possible” because he desires it to be so.
Among the other wonders of Christmas, we remember that God does not bypass even the weakness of human frailty in order to work out his purposes. In fact, the message of the Incarnation is that it is often precisely through finite and fragile human nature that God reveals the splendor of his eternal being. Christmas is a day to rejoice, for no person is despised by God, no person is useless in his hands; no person is too sinful and flawed to be the “blessed of God” even in “impossible” situations.
God in his goodness provides to each of us seemingly “impossible” situations. They reveal our ineptitude and weakness, and yet are not meant to be stumbling blocks to our faith. They are instead times for us to receive anew the creative gracious power of his life-giving Christmas Spirit.
Every Christmas we celebrate the Father’s Spirit-created gift of a Savior, Jesus, who is given to all of us sinners, who are facing the humanly impossible situation of death. God was born through the womb of a simple virgin. He came to us in human form so that though a cross, we could be freed from the deadly grip of our sin. In what seemed an “impossibility,” God incarnate, became “possible” among us.
Christmas proclaims that when the Father, by his Word, wills it through the overshadowing power of his Holy Spirit. “...nothing is impossible with God.”
Let us like Mary believe in You, and glorify You, oh God, in all the impossibilities we face. Amen