Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Mary, Mother of Our Lord. In the first chapter of Luke, the angel Gabriel visits Mary to announce that she will give birth to God’s Son, Jesus. Our devotion comes from Meditations on the Gospels: According to His Word.
Luke 1:(39–45) 46–55
Read the propers for the day in Lutheran Service Builder.
The time had come for the promise of the Savior, first given in Eden soon after the fall into sin, to be fulfilled. The first man, Adam, had by his transgression brought judgment and condemnation and death on all men.
“The last Adam,” “the second man,” as Paul called Him in 1 Corinthians 15:45, 47, was to annul what the first Adam had done wrong and to restore what he had lost—righteousness and life (Romans 5:12–19). How much greater than the old Adam is the New Adam!
The first Adam came directly from God’s creative hand: “the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7). We should not be surprised that when the New Adam was born, the creative hand of God again intervened—He was born of a virgin. …
Here begins the story of the life of Jesus. Tradition has it that Mary herself told it to St. Luke. The believer will be content with receiving the simple story of the girl God chose to become the mother of His Son.
We can be sure that the same Power of the Most High who overshadowed Mary inspired the words of the evangelist and gave us the authentic story of the incarnation. A multitude of legends stemmed from the words of the Gospel; they should be set aside, as it is pointless to try to be wise beyond the words of Scripture.
Calmly and quietly, without pomp and show, the Divine entered into the world of man. The Son of Mary would be called the Son of the Highest, in a specific and restricted sense. If Jesus is not God, it is meaningless to celebrate Christmas, foolish to call Him Savior and Redeemer.
God in the flesh is the miracle of miracles and the greatest mystery. We cannot understand it, but thank God that we don’t need to; we only need believe it. And to strengthen our faith, we hear again all the signs that Jesus is the Son of God.
Such a simple but sure faith was the outstanding characteristic of Mary. Isn’t it remarkable that the Scriptures tell us so little of her personal history? It is evidence of divine wisdom that foresaw the danger of magnifying the Virgin beyond her due.
She was blessed among women; but her highest blessedness was not that Jesus was her Son, but that He was her Savior. How many women have called Mary blessed and desired to be like her! What prevents them?
Mary’s greatest acclaim is that she stood in the foremost ranks of those who hear the Word of God and keep it. And her greatest blessedness now is that she is in heaven because she trusted her Son to save her from her sins.
Devotion is adapted from Meditations on the Gospels: According to His Word, pages 391–93, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Hymn is "Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones" from Four Easter Hymns for Twelve Bells, Set 2 by Sandra Eithun, © 2019 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.