The Gospel of Luke | Tracking with Advent: Rejoice | Luke 1.26-27 |

by | Dec 8, 2021

”Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; [e]blessed are you among women!” Luke 1.26-27

As we continue our series, “Tracking with Advent,” we come upon the prelude to the birth of Jesus. It’s the initial interaction between Gabriel and Mary. We can read more of this story later, but for the time being, we will focus on these few verses.

The angel Gabriel comes to visit Mary within the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. We find some debate when this actually occurred. As we know, Jesus was not likely born in December but possibly in summer or early fall. However, the timing for me is less important than the actual visit and the birth (For more read

An angel was sent “by God” to a remote city in the region of Galilee to a town named Nazareth. This was an unimportant town. It certainly wasn’t Hebron, or Bethlehem or especially Jerusalem. It was obscure to say the least. And the angels come to a virgin who is engaged to Jospeh, who we know from reading, was from the house of David. This mattered because the Messiah had to come from David’s lineage. It’s important to note that Joseph carried the blood line and not Mary.

The angel came to the virgin and her name was Mary. Virgins do not get pregnant. They don’t have babies. This has never happened ever before in history ever. It’s not possible. But what is impossible with man…. And Gabriel comes to Mary and says some words that would change her life forever, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.”

What a statement! The first command is to “rejoice.” Why” Because she is highly favored. But why is she highly favored? That, we will find out. And she is not alone, the Lord is with Mary and she is to be blessed among women. What’s an introduction.

What does it mean to rejoice? To praise, celebrate, throw a party? How do we rejoice when we are alone, away, hidden or sad? Does the command to rejoice apply to all of us always, for eternity? Can we rejoice in what God did in the past (for example with Mary), and with what God is doing in the present and future?

The answer is absolutely. Gabriel’s command to Mary to “rejoice” can be our offering right now. Rejoicing in the midst of difficulty, rejoicing when everything is going well, rejoicing in times of lack and abundance. The angel told us to rejoice because he came from a God who causes rejoicing to happen. We have a God who rejoices not just in what he’s done, but who he’s created. And this includes us.

My finally word is this — God is rejoicing over you in this moment. You don’t have to be perfect for him to rejoice in you. Just be yourself and look to your Lord for salvation. Hear the words of the angel saying these words to you, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you.”

“O Lord God, sometimes it’s hard to rejoice. Sometimes my head gets in the way of my heart. Sometimes I get discouraged, down or depressed. But in truth, we have much reason to rejoice. Your Word, your Spirit and your grace goes before us. I have breath in my lungs and hope in my soul. Come now, Holy Spirit, anoint your people with your power. Help us rejoice in your salvation and share that with the world. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen