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July 17 | Luke 1:26-38

DAILY READING


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REFLECTION


Christmas in July!

by Elaine Pierce


I will admit that when I read the scripture for today, I paused and looked at the calendar. Yes, it's July. No, it's not Christmas. This passage in Luke is so often read in December as we prepare to celebrate Jesus' birth. We can picture Mary, a young teenager, discovering that she is going to give birth to the savior of the world. We've heard the story so many times, that it's easy to gloss over it so we can get to the 'Christmas story.


Yes, Mary, a young virgin, was going to have a baby. And how on earth could this happen? The angel explains to this frightened young woman that "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." (v. 35)


As an aside, take a look at the matter-of-fact way that Matthew describes the virgin birth:


"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:18)


As we continue our Sunday sermon series on the Apostles' Creed, it is easy to see why we chose to focus on these "Christmas verses." As the ancient creed says:


I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.


I will not attempt to explain how God did this, or why God did this. But I know it to be true. God chose to intervene in human history, and he came in the form of a man, born of a virgin through the work of the Holy Spirit. The triune God is active in our lives, and he initiates a relationship with us. Thanks be to God for this gift, not one that we have earned, but one that he freely bestows.


Aren't you thankful to read these "Christmas verses" in July? Take some time now to thank God for the gift of his Son. He used a young woman to fulfill his purposes: surely he can use me and you to bring glory to his name.

 

Lord, thank you for sending your son. Thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit. Help me to share this gift with others. Amen.






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