What does the annunciation mean for us?


Advent 2 — Dec. 9, 2020

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Liturgy: LSB 229 Vespers

Hymns: LSB #332 “Savior of the Nations, Come”; LSB #350 “Come, Thou Precious Ransom, Come”; LSB #883 “All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night”

Psalm: 1 Samuel 2:1-10 “Song of Hannah”
“My heart rejoices in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD. My mouth is bold against my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation. 2 There is none holy as the LORD, for there is none besides You, and there is no rock like our God. 3 Do not multiply proud speech, nor let arrogance come out of your mouth, for the LORD is the God of knowledge, and by Him actions are examined. 4 The bows of the mighty are broken, but those who stumbled are girded with strength. 5 Those that were full have hired out themselves for bread, and those that were hungry ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, and she that has many children wastes away. 6 The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up. 7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up. 8 He raises up the poor out of the dust and lifts up the oppressed from the dunghill to make them sit with princes and inherit a throne of glory. For the pillars of the earth belong to the LORD, and He has set the world upon them. 9 He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked will be silent in darkness. For by strength shall no man prevail. 10 The adversaries of the LORD will be broken to pieces; He will thunder against them out of heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to His king and exalt the horn of His anointed.”

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 7:10-16; 9:6-7; and Luke 1:26-56

Prayers: “The Litany” LSB 288

“But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. And of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. Therefore the Holy One who will be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:30-35

Who is Jesus? The announcement of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary leaves no doubt. Jesus is Jehovah God in the flesh! He is the “Son of the Highest” and also the promised Son of David who would rule over God’s people forever and ever.

How can this be? The Holy Spirit caused Mary, a virgin, to conceive; the power of the Highest overshadowed her. It is in this way and for this reason that the Holy Child born to her would be called the Son of God. Jesus is Immanuel [God with us] and Jehovah our Savior as His name itself tells us.

It is as Isaiah prophesied some seven hundred years before Christ: “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: The virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14); and, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder. And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to order it and to establish it with justice and with righteousness, from now until forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this” (Isa. 9:6-7).

In the Person of Jesus, and by means of the virgin birth, Jehovah God Himself took on human flesh and blood and became true man and lived among us that He might fulfill the righteous demands of God’s law for us and then bear the full punishment for our sins by going to the cross and suffering and dying in our stead. This Jesus did; and because He is the very Son of God, His innocent sufferings and death are accepted of God the Father as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Jesus’ resurrection is proof (cf. John 1:1,14; Rom. 1:3-4; 4:23-25; 1 John 2:1-2).

God sent His Son that we who stand condemned by God’s holy law might flee to Christ Jesus and place our faith and trust in His perfect life in our stead and His innocent sufferings and death on the cross for the sins of the world. And when we do, God graciously forgives our sins and accepts us as His own dear children for Jesus’ sake (cf. Gal. 4:4-5; 2:16; 3:26ff.; Eph. 1:3ff.; John 3:16; 5:24).

What a miracle for a virgin to conceive and bear a Son! And, what a miracle of grace for God Himself to become true man and go to the cross to redeem you and me and then send His Holy Spirit to bring us to faith and keep us in faith in the Son through the preaching of the Gospel!

O gracious Father, we thank You for so loving the world that You sent Your only-begotten Son to be born a true man of the Virgin Mary that He might redeem us from sin and death and grant us life everlasting through faith in Jesus’ name. Amen.

[Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.]

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