February 16 – Gospel Readthrough – Luke 1

Read Luke 1:1-80

SURPRISE!

Are you a surprise person or not? I know some people hate surprises and others love them.  Would you love to have a surprise party in your honor? Would you like to be surprised by a gender reveal party with your closest friends and family?

I would not.

I like to know things well in advance so I can devise a plan. I wonder if Elizabeth and Mary in Luke 1 were “surprise” people. They certainly faced quite the life-altering surprises.

Elizabeth received the news that, after years of being without a child, she would have a son. Not only would she have a baby, but that baby would be the special person who would announce the coming of the Christ. Learning that she would give birth after all these years would have been surprise enough, but there was more – the unfortunate surprise of her husband becoming mute for the duration of her pregnancy would have been shocking.

Mary also received a surprise announcement that would be life-changing. Gabriel told her that she would become the mother of Jesus. She was confused by this surprise message. As Gabriel unfolded the plan, Mary continued to process all that she was hearing. In the end, she responded with humility and acceptance.

We can learn how to handle the surprises of life by examining the reactions of these ladies in Luke 1. Let’s notice how they received and responded to the surprising news that would change them forever. They both accepted the “impossible” news with humility and faith. They chose to accept what they couldn’t quite understand. Is God asking you to trust Him with a surprise you can’t quite understand? Are you struggling to make sense of a life-changing surprise? The first step is to accept the circumstances and decide to trust God. Surprises often make us want to gain some sense of control yet God asks us to trust Him.

These women found comfort in each other that brought joy. In verse 44, it says Elizabeth shared:

“As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”

They met together and the joy was obvious. They shared the excitement of the babies they would soon have and the joys of motherhood they would no doubt be looking forward to. They likely comforted each other during the time when they felt overwhelmed by it all. We all need people to do life with us and see us through the surprises that would otherwise overwhelm us. We need people who will point us back to the Lord. Verse 45 states it beautifully:

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

As you read the story of these women and their surprises, consider how you might respond to life-changing news whether you are a lover of surprises or not. Accept the news you’ve been given and humbly rely on God to do the impossible.

Connect with a person who will point you back to God and His plan.

Humbly choose to be used by God for His glory as Elizabeth and Mary choose to do.

Tammy Finney

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