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The Spirit of Advent

What must have been going through Mary’s heart and mind as she came to the full realization that she would become the mother of the Messiah, the Christ? As we each begin our personal journey in this Advent season Mary’s experience takes on added significance. This is so because Mary’s close association with Christ is not unlike our connection to Him as believers. The spirit manifest in Mary is the type of spirit we should cultivate within ourselves so we anticipate meeting with Christ in a fresh way this season.

The angel Gabriel greeted Mary with the words, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” (St. Luke 1:28) Mary undoubtedly never thought of herself in such exalted terms, which explains her response. “But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.” (St. Luke 1:29) Mary was of royal lineage being “of the house of David.” She was aware of her ancestry and although poor she could have had a proud heart. Mary was, however, quite humble and said of herself, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (St. Luke 1:28)

The way to exaltation is the path of humiliation. “But he gives more grace; therefore, it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you. “ (St. James 4:6,10)

At the appearance of Gabriel Mary experienced a tinge of fear, but she had the faith that overcomes fear. The angel calmed her fears with the words, “Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (St. Luke 1:30) Mary was fearful because the birth was to be a virgin birth. Mary and Joseph were betrothed, but not yet married. What would the people of Nazareth think? What would Joseph’s reaction be?

Oh, the harm that fear has done to the Kingdom of God; the fear of men’s looks, words or deeds. How often has fear of man stifled the witness which we have been called to be? Mary’s faith in God overcame her fear of man enabling her to accept her role in salvation history.

Mary’s interview with Gabriel concluded with a statement of commitment and resolve. Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (St. Luke 1:38) She saw herself as the handmaid, servant, of the Lord and of no other. God and His perfect will were supreme in Mary’s heart. As she put it, “ … let it be to me….” This expressed her complete commitment and a resolve that would not be detoured.

What amazing changes would take place in the life of the Church and in society at large if every Christian had that same resolve and commitment which is seen in Mary. No matter what anyone says, does, or thinks we will do the Lord’s will. Regardless of the cost we will pray, “Not my will, but thine be done.”

In Mary we see the true spirit of Advent; the spirit needed as one anticipates the coming of Christ. May we follow her excellent example.

by Rev. F.M. Levi

Parish News

The annual Spaghetti Dinner sponsored by the Women’s Guild took place October 25, 2003. Thank you to the ladies for their hard work and to all who supported them by attending.

Missionary of The Month

Pray for Rev. & Mrs. Gerhard Meyer (Grace) and their children, Esther, Melody, Jessica, Joy. Youth/Camp/Pastoral Ministries. Schwarzenborn, Germany

Happy Birthday!

Dec. 11 – Loretta Sellers

Dec. 14 – Elizabeth Horn

Dec. 16 – Barney Reagan

Dec. 17 – William O’Brien

Dec. 18 – Thomas Bowman

Founders’ Day

December 2, 1873. The founding of the Reformed Episcopal Church.

Christmas Eve Service

Dec. 24, 11 p.m. Refreshments at 10 p.m. in the Parish Hall.


Bless us, Lord, this Christmas

With quietness of mind;

Teach us to be patient

And always to be kind;

Give us reassurance

When everything goes wrong,

So our faith remains unfaltering –

Our hope and courage strong,

And show us that in quietness

We can feel Your presence near,

Filling us with joy and peace

All seasons of the year.

by Helen Steiner Rice

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