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Thursday, December 8, 2005

Luke 1:30-32
The angel said to Mary,

"Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High."

This is what we prayed beside the beds of our children for years and years: "Surround their beds with angels, and give them good dreams, Lord." It's still one of my favorite prayers.

I imagine Mary waking up with the angel's words ringing in her ears. It must have been dark, and she was alone, and she knew this was a very good dream. More than a dream, it seemed, the words were so clear and powerful ... the angel might have really been there.

She knew he had been there. She didn't need a pregnancy test, she didn't need to wait till she skipped her period or got morning sickness. The angel's words didn't lose their power in the morning, and Mary's good dream meant her life would change completely. There really was a baby growing inside her, and its father was not Joseph, was not any man. The virgin Mary was having God's baby.

Covered with the grace of God, Mary still needed the angel's reminder not to be afraid. Very few would believe her story of the night vision. Joseph himself would need God's touch before he could believe his beloved Mary.

As the days unfold before her baby's birth Mary knows his name is Jesus, that he will be called the Son of God; and she can remember the sweet moment of the angel's appearing. "The Lord is with you."

Let me participate, Jesus, in these thoughts and feelings of your mother, and let me rejoice in your coming. Soon, Lord. Soon!

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