Advent Week 2: Beautiful Inside and Out


 Yesterday evening our family gathered around the Christmas tree to celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent. As I watched Moriah, our oldest daughter, sing carols, then read Luke 1:26-38 I thought, Mary, the mother of Jesus wasn’t much older than our daughter when the Angel Gabriel visited her. We often read The Message bible with our kids to help them understand what is going on in the story. Check out the words that came out of Moriah’s mouth last night as she read to our family:

“Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her (Mary):

Good morning!
You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you.

She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that.”(v.28-29)

Wow! I have read and listened to this story in Luke many, many times, but never have I noticed the incredible first greeting of Gabriel to Mary. Before Gabriel tells Mary anything about what is coming, which is really incredible news, the Angel tells her who she is. The Angel tells her that she is beautiful, beautiful inside and out! That is amazing!

What is even more amazing about the incredible greeting from Gabriel is that Mary believed it! After a little back and forth in the conversation we get this:

“And Mary said,

Yes, I see it all now: I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me just as you say.”(v.38)

So good! Mary believes the truth about who she is, beautiful with God beauty, beautiful inside and out, and she believes that God has a plan for her life. Do you? Man or woman reading this…beautiful can be a hard thing to interpret, specifically as a man. If you need to replace the word beautiful with loved, that works too. Either way, do you believe like Mary?

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