“For nothing will be impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37 (ESV)
Last Sunday night, our church held its annual carol service. Members of the church read Scripture passages followed by hymns, and then our pastor gave a brief sermon titled “Nothing Is Impossible With God”, where he focused on Luke 1:26-38.
Our church has a large amount of members from the Yale University community. For that reason, there always seem to be folks that are coming and going due to graduation, job relocating, etc. But there seemed to be a higher amount of new faces last Sunday night. I looked around a couple of times during the service and wondered what might be going through their minds as our pastor was preaching. Did they just come with a friend ? Were they new to the area ? Were they Christians ? Not Christians ? Was this the first time they had heard the gospel ?
I’ve thought and prayed about these new faces a lot this week. In Luke 1, Mary asks the angel Gabriel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” when told that she will become pregnant with a child. When she is told that “nothing will be impossible with God”, she responds, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” I wonder how many people listening on Sunday to the sermon were thinking the same thing about Christianity – how can this be ? Look at my life…can I really receive forgiveness for my sins ? And this gift of grace is free, not a result of my own works or doing ? I can become a son or daughter of God ? Is this really possible ?
In his book The King Has Come, James Montgomery Boice explains that Mary’s words should be the response of all of us:
“That is the secret of a happy and fruitful life. If we go our own way, we shall be like lost sheep, far from home, frustrated and helpless. But if we respond like Mary, we shall be blessed by God.
And who knows what God will yet do with us ?”