I am sure you are good at waiting...most all of us are...not! My children are great at waiting to open gifts for birthdays and for Christmas...aren't yours? I wasn't any better. I can remember Christmas-times in my youth were my brother and I would tunnel through packages, beg to open 'just one', open and re-wrap and try just about anything to make time to faster. I'm sure he will appreciate me telling you this. :)
The hope that was shared in the prophetic promise of The Coming of The Eternal King (2 Samuel 7) would sound like great news to everyone. When we hear of great things coming we naturally hope those things come soon...atleast within our own lifetime. Yet, God's timing is not like our timing. They would wait 28 generations (Matthew 1:17) and approximately 1000 years.
Finally, when many had lost hope and others had forgotten completely, God's timing was fulfilled and the Long Wait comes to an End. Read the account in Luke 1:
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you! ” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail. ” Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38 NLT)
A few thoughts on this miraculous text:
1. God sent the angel Gabriel to inform Mary. When God wants you to know something then the information will be at hand in some form. We have His perfect revelation in the Holy Scriptures.
2. God's favor was with Mary. God's favor also rested upon all mankind with this long-awaited Christmas gift.
3. Jesus is the greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua. Joshua was the deliverer of the people in the Old Testament. Jesus was the deliverer of the people forever (and in the New Testament). Jesus delivers us into eternal closeness with God and out of eternal seperation from God.
4. Mary was a 'yet-to-be-married' virgin. She didn't understand how God could give her a Son. Nothing is impossible with God - as He proved yet again with the virgin birth. We can trust Him to provide The Way. You can trust Him to accomplish all things according to His Will.
5. Mary probably still had questions but she was faithful in that she put those questions aside and said 'Lord, let it be as you have said'. There are times we must stop asking questions of God and start saying 'Lord let it be'.
There would still be a few months of waiting but the time had come. God was pleased to dwell with man. Jesus The Messiah was coming. Just like the moment when you tell your kids 'sit down and we will open the presents now'...all the waiting and anticipation was coming to an end. Hope was becoming reality.