When we think of the Christmas story, we often focus on the birth of Jesus as the only miraculous event that occurred.
And indeed it was an awesome miracle: the virgin birth of a baby who would become the Saviour of the world.
But there was another miraculous birth that happened around the same time, described only in the gospel of Luke.
The angel Gabriel told Mary she would conceive without having had relations with her betrothed, Joseph. The Holy Spirit would come upon her, and she would give birth to a son, who was to be called Jesus.
This was no doubt astounding news to Mary. But the angel didn’t stop there: he had another amazing news flash.
Gabriel told Mary that her relative Elizabeth, who was old and had never been able to have children, was also going to give birth. Not only that, she was already in her sixth month of pregnancy: her son would become John the Baptist.
Scripture indicates that after hearing Gabriel’s news, Mary hurried to see Elizabeth and her husband, who lived about 70 miles away. Mary would have been able to see that Elizabeth, who everyone thought was barren, was indeed pregnant.
For her part, Elizabeth immediately knew that Mary was going to give birth to the Saviour: the Holy Spirit must have told her this, because there’s no evidence that Mary did.
These two things must have confirmed for Mary that the angel’s message to her was true and would indeed come to pass.
Are there things in your life that seem impossible, even though God has promised through Scripture or a specific word to you that they’d happen?
Believe impossible things. Believe that God can come through for you, even when outward circumstances would tell you it’s unlikely. God blesses faith like that.
Elizabeth said to Mary, “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” (Luke 1:45 NLT)
The angel Gabriel told Mary that no word from God will ever fail, that nothing is impossible with Him. (Luke 1:37)
Mary and Elizabeth were bookends, so to speak. One was at the beginning of her adult life, the other advanced in years and seemingly past the age of childbearing. Both received a miracle involving the birth of a child under impossible circumstances.
No matter your age, God can do something amazing in your life.
The Christmas story also tells us about Simeon and Anna, both of whom were elderly. God blessed both of these faithful, godly people by allowing them to see the Messiah for whom Israel had waited so long.
Simeon was approaching the very end of his life, and yet God had promised him that he would see the Messiah before he died. Simeon happened to enter the temple in Jerusalem just when Jesus’ parents were bringing Him there. Simeon took Jesus in his arms, lifted Him up and praised God:
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation.” (Luke 2:29-30 ESV)
Anna, a prophetess, had had a brief seven-year marriage when she was young, but had spent the remainder of her life in widowhood. She was anywhere from 84 to over 100 years old by this time! She came upon Jesus in the temple at the same hour, and recognizing that He was the Redeemer, thanked God. (Luke 2:36-38)
These accounts tell us that God can do incredible things for you no matter what your stage in life.
God can give meaning and fulfillment to the aged.
God can use a teenage girl to bring forth a Saviour.
God can use a baby to change the world.
No matter your age, God has a miracle and a purpose for you!
It all starts with believing in Jesus.
© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.