Advent Devotional | December 7, 2020
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. Luke 1:26-31
“Why should we care about angels? Because knowledge of God’s heavenly host helps us think more clearly about our status, our purpose, and our destiny.” – Dr. Michael Heiser, Author & Scholar
There is a lot of confusion about angels. Most of what the general population knows about angels comes from movies and greeting cards. Of course, there are other sources, but the reality is that media and tradition, not the Bible, have shaped mainstream thinking about angels. So, who are they? Two things are true about angels as we understand them from God’s word. They are not human or God; rather, they are supernatural beings. Why does it matter? Well, I’m glad you asked. (Just play along if you didn’t ask.)
Mary had an encounter with a supernatural being that brought the announcement of God’s great plan. This highly favored young woman received a surprise visit from God’s messenger, Gabriel. What is fascinating about this encounter is Mary’s response or lack thereof. Did you notice what “greatly troubled” Mary? It wasn’t Gabriel, it was his message. Mary recognized this messenger from God and his role in the story as representing the Divine. And we should too. God’s purposes for angels and for humans are very different. In the story of Advent, God places humanity on center stage.
Advent reminds us of the value God places on His human family. While the reality of other supernatural beings is a fascinating conversation, we should be in awe of humanity’s position. How do you know what something is worth? What someone is willing to pay for it. “For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way…” (Hebrews 2:16-17a). When God made Jesus fully human, He made a statement about our value. Let this season inspire in you the great worth of humanity as evidenced by our Lord and Savior!
Pastor Dave Mergens