As puzzled as a virginal teenaged Mary must have been by the angel’s announcement in Luke 1:30-33, she readily accepts her role as expectant mother of the long-awaited Messiah. In Luke 1:46-48, she pours out her song of joy, praise, and gratitude to God in the beautiful Magnificat.
When given this scripture to ponder for an Advent devotional, I was reminded of a great Christmas joy that my family experienced on Christmas Eve, 2015. My daughter Julie and her husband Chris were a little tardy joining us for the Woodland service (occasioning a few choice glances at the saved seats from the assembling crowd). When they did arrive, each had an excited but stunned countenance. “Is everything okay?” I queried. Julie whispered with tears in her eyes, but joy and awe in her voice, “We just got a phone call on the way here. We’ve been chosen. We are getting a baby girl in January.”
Having experienced several miscarriages and failed pregnancies, they had prayed and grieved but became involved in the lives of many children and families in ways that would not have been possible had they had their own child. They had been on a waiting list for an adoption for almost 3 years and were feeling discouraged, but not abandoned by God. So, while it was not an angelic announcement, prayers were answered on that holy night! The entire family spent that service with tears of joy, “glorifying the Lord” and rejoicing in the “blessings of God our Savior.”
Our precious Avery will soon be four years old. We remain humbled and in awe of the marvelous gift that the “Mighty One” brought us in the form of this miraculous baby girl. Julie and Chris have told me that had God answered their prayers sooner, they would have never had Avery in their lives. Now, they would not have changed anything. Indeed, we are blessed. “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”