The theme of faith continues to run through the preparation of the Advent in Luke. The first account talks about the encounter between the angel Gabriel and Zechariah. The crux of this account is in Luke 1.18. In parallel, Mary also asked a question in Luke 1.34. Both of the questions were based upon the circumstances of the impossible birth: Zechariah’s age and Mary’s virginity.
The outcomes however were different. The cause of Zechariah’s silence was due to his inquiry in Luke 1.18 while the angel did not rebuke Mary. What can we say about this?
Clearly, the angel did not interpret Mary’s question as a lack of faith. The narrative proves that indeed Mary was full of faith in her response to Elizabeth’s prophecy in Luke 1.39-56.
We have already noted that the situation of both parties show impossible circumstances. The responses however were different. Therefore, the author was a realist in dealing with life’s circumstances. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging the impossible circumstances sometimes we encounter in life. Our response though is the real key. Here, God has done the impossible for His people to accomplish His good will. The stories tell us that we too must put our faith in this God who had the very best purpose in mind for His people Israel. His good purpose continues still.
In preparation for the Advent, we must build our faith foundation on the faithful and sovereign God of history. Thus, if we want to preach series faithful to the spirit of Advent, faithfulness of God is a good place to continue. Our response is equally important.