In this week’s message of advent, I talked specifically about Mary and the angels and the final preparations for Christ’s birth.
I believe it is important to note that the Bible never says anything about worshiping or praying to (or through) Mary or the angels. Neither of these were meant to replace God in any way and the Bible specifically says “All angels are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit eternal life” in Hebrews. Also, 1 Corinthians 6:3 says that we are to judge angels. Finally, Philippians 4:6 says to make your requests know to God (directly to Him being implied).
Isaiah 7:14 (NIV) says, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (which means God with us).
This prophecy is obviously very specific. When it is paired with Micah 5:2, which says one from the clan of Judah will come out of Bethlehem, it sure does make a serious case that this birth was by divine design!
The fact that Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem at the exact time that Mary went into labor was quite a staggering coincidence, as it was not planned (see Luke 2:1-7). She had to stay in the guest room (*most likely not a stable) because they did not expect to have the baby at that time.
In my opinion, this was all arranged by God so that He could show His everlasting love for us (as in John 3:16). It is a free, unearned gift. Think about a gift for a moment. When we give gifts to each other, we don’t do it because the receiver did something to earn it (or it would be a wage). We do it not expecting anything in return and we don’t give in order to take away at a later time.
In this season, accept God’s free (unearned) gift of love and pass it along to someone else!