Over the last couple of months, I have written about the power of our tongue and how our speech is an overflow of what is in our heart.  In the Christmas season, it is a good time to zero in on Mary, the mother of Jesus and her confession.

We cannot discuss the important message Mary received without mentioning the messenger that brought it to her.  We are familiar with the beginning of the Christmas story where Gabriel comes to Mary and tells her that she will conceive a child and proclaims that God’s Word will become flesh.

Gabriel is one of God’s mighty angels that we know by name, and he shows up both in the Old Testament and New Testament. Gabriel means “Strength of God” or “Man of God”.   He is one of the prominent figures we always see in the nativity scenes.  In Luke, Gabriel states he is an angel who “stands in the presence of God, and he has been sent to bring the good news” (Luke 1:19).  He must have been a sight to behold because whenever he shows up, the first words out of his mouth are, “do not be afraid”. 

Mary does not doubt what Gabriel tells her; she asks for more clarification.  When he tells her, she ponders this in her heart.  In other words, she allows this seed to take residence as she mediates on what had been spoken.  She agrees with what was spoken and takes God at His Word.  Luke 1:38, And Mary said, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.’ And the angel departed from her”.  We know that Mary believed God’s Word because upon receiving the news, she visits Elizabeth and shares, meaning she speaks what is on the inside of her heart -the good news.  Her speech reflected what she believed in her heart.

Before this incidence of Gabriel coming to Mary, he visits Elizabeth’s husband Zacharias, and tells him that he and Elizabeth will bear a son.  However, Zacharias does not ask for clarification, but instead he doubts what has been spoken.  Rather than believing and taking God at His word, Zacharias gives all the reasons why it will not work.  Ultimately, he focuses on his circumstances instead of God’s Word.  This is why God shut his mouth for nine months so he could not speak anymore.  God did not want Zacharias’ speech to undo his miracle. 

Both stories have God’s messenger Gabriel revealing God’s plan – however, Mary believed and confessed it to others while Zacharias doubted and temporarily lost his ability to speak. 

May our confessions this Season be closer to Mary’s response of believing in miracles instead of doubt and unbelief like Zacharias. God’s Word is full of His promises and truth, may we take Him at His Word. 

Merry Christmas!

Rhonda L. Smart [email protected]

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