by Pastor Martha-Jean Fitch
December 9, 2018

Scripture:  Luke 1:26-38

            A man in Texas was out driving with his wife when all of the sudden he was pulled over by a police officer.   He couldn’t figure out what he had done wrong.  He rolled his window down and looked for his insurance card and driver’s license – and waited for the officer to come to the car.   The officer arrived and said, “Sir, I pulled you over because you are driving with a child that is not in a car seat.”   The very confused driver was then handed a positive pregnancy test from his wife!


            What a way to announce you are going to have a baby!


            Pastor David Jeremiah in a recent sermon, shared that story along with another story that happened in his own congregation.   One Mother’s Day, he had all the mothers stand up to be recognized.   And then he said, “And if you are on the way to becoming a mother, would you please stand up.”   And with that a young woman stood up, who had not told her husband or her parents that she was pregnant and that was her public announcement that she was going to have a baby!1


            Apparently, there are all sorts of ways people announce the good news that they are having a baby…and some are very unique and clever.  Parents Magazine even has a contest that couples can enter to show how creative they can be in announcing their exciting news.   But none can be as exciting and as amazing as the way God announced the coming of His Son to earth. 


            Just imagine the scene.   Mary – a teenage girl (about the same age as Adelia who played Mary in our skit earlier) is at home, probably doing chores of some sorts.   Perhaps she is dreaming of her upcoming wedding to her fiancÚ Joseph.   And suddenly, God sent an angel by the name of Gabriel to Mary with some pretty incredible news!


            Incidentally, you might remember that it was the angel Gabriel that brought the news of the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah in our Scripture from last week.   Gabriel also appears in the Old Testament in the book of Daniel, some 500 years before Jesus was born, announcing the good news that one day a Messiah would be coming.  Gabriel is always that angel that brings some sort of message from God!


            Well, Mary’s life was changed forever when she heard the message Gabriel brought her.   He said, “Greetings!   Favored one!  The Lord is with you.”   Mary found the words of the angel puzzling and his presence frightening.  But Gabriel assured her saying: “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”   And then Gabriel went on to tell her the most unbelievable news – that she would have a child and that that child would be the Messiah.  


            Now if you had been Mary, what would you have said?   I think my first inclination would be to say, “There is no way!”   I wouldn’t believe it!  I would think it was just too impossible.  


            Last week, when we heard Gabriel tell Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth was going to have a baby – he doubted and asked Gabriel to give him some sign so he could be sure that was true.  But it seems like Mary seems to believe that the words of the angel – but she just doesn’t know how it is going to happen.   Her response to Gabriel was “How will this happen?  I am a virgin.  


            Gabriel explained… God would send His Holy Spirit to come upon her and she would conceive a son…just as her cousin Elizabeth had conceived a son in her old age.  And then Gabriel said one of the great truths of Christmas: “For nothing will be impossible with God.”  (Luke 1:37)


             Wow!    Nothing will be impossible!    Isn’t that an incredible promise?   Nothing … nothing at all will be impossible.   Apparently, that was all the assurance Mary needed, because she was quick to take a leap of faith and say, “Here am I the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word.”  (Luke 1:38)


            Now, getting back to the promises of Luke 1:37.   If you are reading out of your NIV or NLT translation of the Bible, you will note the words are different.  Some translations take and translate the Greek words differently and say: “For the word of God will never fail.” 2 Basically, it means the same thing – there is nothing – no word or promise of God – that will fail or be impossible.   Or, I like to think of it as saying – Impossible is not in God’s vocabulary!


            You know, Mary could have really doubted and questioned that promise.   Think about it, she could have said, “Really?   How can I believe that?   Does God know how difficult this is going to be?   No one is ever going to believe me.  My family will be disgraced and may even disown me.  My fiancÚ Joseph may not even believe me, and he might even have me stoned thinking I had committed adultery.”   She could have said, “No – it is just too impossible.  I am just too scared. Too weak – too young.”  Her excuses could have gone on and on.  


            But Mary doesn’t argue with the angel – she doesn’t grapple with all the “what if’s” or demand to have all the assurances of what the future holds.   Rather she obeys and surrenders herself to be used by God.   She has a deep faith and trust in God – that He will do what He says and will keep His promises.   She is convinced of the power of God and follows where He calls.    Through her human eyes and worldly perspective, it all seemed totally impossible.   But through the eyes of faith, she believed all things were possible with God!


            What kind of impossible situations do you find yourself in today?   For some of you it may be a relationship that is strained or broken and seems impossible to repair.   For others, it is a job situation that is unbearable or just the lack of having a job.   Maybe it is a health crisis or the terrible aching in your heart of grief or loneliness or guilt.  Or maybe, you just overwhelmed and over-burdened with life.  Whatever the case, you may feel like it is just an impossible situation.    Well, take heart and be encouraged.   I believe God knows exactly where we are and what we are going through.   He can come into your situation with the same promise that Gabriel gave Mary, “Nothing is impossible with God.”  In fact, impossible circumstances are where God’s glory shines the brightest.  God already knows all about your situation, He loves you perfectly and is working for your eternal good, no matter how overwhelming the problem might appear to be (Rom. 8:28).  What God wants from us is to trust Him, as Mary did, and obey Him.   As we look to Him and surrender our lives to Him, God will either deliver us from our circumstances OR He will give us the strength to endure and will carry us through.  And no word – no promise from God – will ever fail!


We all will have times of difficulty – times of weariness – times of doubt.   There will be times when things around us feel impossible.   But, as Pastor Dave Shreve puts it, “Whatever your impossibility may be, take it and introduce it to the God who specializes in impossible situations.   When you pair up your problems with God’s power – nothing is impossible.   As Jesus said in Mark 10:27, ‘With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’”  Don’t just look at your situation with your human eyes that can only see impossibilities. Look with eyes of faith and believe that God is good, and He cares for you and has a wonderful plan in the midst of your difficult situation.  Keep reading God’s word and claiming God’s promises.   Be obedient to do what God calls you to do – and when you step out in faith, just as Mary did, God will give you exactly what you need at that moment.3


            As the Scripture says in Ephesians 3:20-21“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.”






             When Mary heard the news that she was to be the mother of the Messiah, how did she respond?   She said, “I am the Lord’s servant.   May it be to me as you have said.”  Essentially she was saying: “Whatever the Lord has for me is what I want!   Here I am.   Do what you will.”    


            Have you ever said something similar to the Lord?   If not, it’s time to surrender your life to the Lord.   Tell God you want to live for Him.   Offer yourself for His purpose and plan, no matter how difficult it might be.    Answer His call – make your decision now to follow Christ!

Come and make First Christian your home where your faith can grow.   Come, rededicate yourself to living for Christ.





1David Jeremiah, Turning Point Television, “Why Mary?” December 1, 2018


2John Calvin, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke,


3Dave Schreve, “Anything is Possible with God”.