December 21, 2008: Guess Who’s Coming to Visit?

Let us pray: Dear Savior, today and every day You are our most welcome Guest! Thank You for coming into our hearts, our lives, and our homes. Thank You for bringing with You joy, gladness, forgiveness, and eternal love! May we always embrace You as You embrace us—unceasingly! Amen

GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM CHRIST, THE COMING CHRISTMAS KING!

Text: Luke 1: 26-38

Fellow Redeemed Christians Waiting On The Christ Child:

When I was a little boy, I remember my mother saying to me a few weeks before Christmas: “Guess who’s coming to visit?” Invariably, I’d blurt out: “Grandma and Grandpa!” I was always correct, too. They often came over Christmas. And I liked it when they came. It meant extra presents, extra food, and a lot of excitement—that’s because my Grandpa could tell stories which I never tired of hearing.

So, if I were to ask you: “Guess who’s coming to visit?” what would you say? Who comes to mind immediately? Who would spice up your celebrations and make the day extra special? Most of us probably would not think of Jesus Christ. After all, we think of Him way up in heaven, far away from our homes and families. But, we shouldn’t. For the Baby Jesus is just as present this Christmas as He was at that first Christmas. We don’t see Him. But, that doesn’t matter. We don’t see the air we breath, either. But it’s just as real as it ever was, and so is Jesus!

Today, I want to talk to each of you a bit more about this question:

GUESS WHO’S COMING TO VISIT?

I

About nine months before Jesus was born in Bethlehem Mary woke up one morning, stretched, yawned, and got ready for just another day. I doubt she expected any visitors that day, especially an angel from God! But sometime during that day that’s exactly what she received!—A messenger sent from God whose name was: Gabriel. “In the 6th month (of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy), God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’”

What an unexpected guest! Amid getting ready for her upcoming wedding to Joseph the appearance of the angel was the farthest thing from her mind. And mindful of her own sinfulness and many short-comings, “Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.” We’d be troubled if an army general, or a secret service agent, or even the police arrived unexpectedly at our door. But an angel? An angel that we know really is an angel? Well, I dare say, we’d be paralyzed by fear and trembling at it all. And the first response of our minds would probably be: “What did I do wrong?” After all, we’re sinners and we naturally feel guilty because we are before God.”

II

And yet, Gabriel didn’t come to make Mary feel guilty. He didn’t come to convict her of her sins. And his next words to her tell us that: “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. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

Angels don’t lie. They cannot since they have been confirmed in God’s goodness and perfection. So, this direct, irrevocable promise of her bearing God’s Son and giving birth to Him and having Him reign over His kingdom of grace forever; well, upon hearing it, who wouldn’t ask the next question: “How will this be?” How, indeed!? Especially considering the fact that Mary is a virgin, she has never had sexual relations with anyone and a child naturally means: sex!

III

In his Godly wisdom, Gabriel has an answer to this that is utterly amazing! “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” In short, it will be a miracle conception and a miracle birth!

Then the angel adds: “Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her 6th month. For nothing is impossible with God.” That’s the clincher, isn’t it? Nothing is impossible with God. No sin is too big to forgive. No temptation is too large to overcome. For this Child would suffer and die on a cross and then rise to life again to win us an eternal victory over all such problems. He would make us right with God. He would work faith into our hearts. He would bestow on us the gift of the Holy Spirit to overshadow our hearts and lives with goodness and grace. All this may seem dreamlike and unreal as we battle with snow, cold, ice, money troubles, people troubles, and countless temptations. But, nothing is impossible with God! And in sending Christ to save our souls, He proved it!

IV

So, what was Mary’s response to all this? “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.” She believed and it happened. She submitted her mind and intellect to God and God gave her stupendous blessings which she is still enjoying this very day.

So, what about you? The Christ Child came to save you. He came to give you His goodness and life. He came to gladden your heart. He was and is God’s gift to you each and every Christmas, each and every day. He was and is the only Gift we’ll ever need.

GUESS WHO’S COMING TO VISIT? Next time someone asks you that before Christmas, how will you answer it? Well, there is only one way, isn’t there? Jesus is coming to visit! And more than that, Jesus is coming to stay! Amen