Passage: Luke 1:26-38
“Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and the comfort of your holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” —The Book of Common Prayer
An eucatastrophe is “the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings you to tears” (J. R. R. Tolkien). Where have you experienced or been longing for an eucatastrophe this Advent?
Read Luke 1:26-38. What do you observe about God from this passage? What does this story teach us about who God is, what he cares about, and how he cares for his people? Anything that surprises you or sparks questions?
Consider what is ordinary in this passage. What is extraordinary in this passage? The ordinary and extraordinary are held together in every Christian life. Like Mary, the words “you are highly favored!” are true of every Christian. We may feel ordinary but we have been given extraordinary salvation! How does Mary invite you to respond to the word and will of God in ordinary and extraordinary ways?
In what ways does Mary’s initial response to Gabriel invite us to handle our questions and concerns in faith? Mary moves from a question to a statement of obedience. What is the relationship of faith and wonder with obedience in the Christian life? How have you wrestled with faith seeking understanding in your relationship with Jesus?
Mary expressed her faithful obedience as a servant of the Lord. What did it mean for God to be Lord in Mary’s life? What were the implications of her seeing herself as the Lord’s servant? In what ways are you challenged and/or encouraged by seeing yourself as the Lord’s servant?
This Advent, consider practicing the act of kneeling to pray morning, noon, and night. Perhaps also as a community group gathered together. Physically and spiritually encourage yourself to remember, “I am the Lord’s servant.”
MORNING: Father, I pray that I would enter this day as your Son entered the world, full of love and hope. Amen.
NOON: Jesus, I pray that I would be present in my work as you were present in this world, full of humility and service. Amen.
BEDTIME: Holy Spirit, I pray that I would be at peace in my rest knowing that you came to bring peace to the world, and will one day bring rest to all things. Amen.
Share with your group how they can be praying for you: what is weighing on you from this past week? What are you praising God for from this past week?
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5