Counting the Days: December 20, 2023
Tom Austin, M.A.
Head Baseball Coach
I feel blessed that I was assigned a reading from the book of Luke. He is my favorite Gospel writer. I know he would have been a great teacher or coach. He wrote in a simple and clear style that was easily understood. The reading, Luke 1:26-38, immediately leads my thoughts to the birth of Christ and the celebration of Christmas. Mary, through the grace of God, was chosen to be the mother of Jesus Christ. Gabriel announced this to Mary. It removed the doubts in Mary’s mind about bearing a child while still a virgin. Gabriel proclaimed, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.” Even after these words, this holy, special woman again doubted, and Gabriel again removed these doubts by reminding Mary that Elizabeth was bearing a child at an age when she should be barren. Mary was comforted that God was, and still is, all powerful and can do anything!
Gabriel then told Mary, “Behold, you shall conceive in your womb a son and you shall name him Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Most High.” Mary was still concerned, and asked, “How can this happen, since I do not know man?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you, and the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God. For nothing is impossible with God!” More of Mary’s doubts were resolved and peace came to rest on her. We often doubt God’s words and power as well and ask if we are worthy. But if we seek God, He will bring us peace!