Scene 1: Angels visit Mary and Joseph Elim Lutheran – 6101 Cody Street
Elim Lutheran – 6101 Cody Street The display is located in the church’s upper parking lot, entrance located at the corner of 61st Avenue West and West 8th Street. Scripture The Birth of Jesus Foretold Luke 1:26-38 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son Matthew 1:18-24 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
Reflection She was just a young girl, maybe 15 or 16. She was engaged to be married to a hardworking man. She was waiting for him to come and take her to the house he was preparing. Like all young couples, she was excited and nervous as she looked forward to her future. Then it all changed. A stranger who said he was from God told her she was going to have a child, and that it wouldn’t be Joseph’s baby. Impossible! I’m not even married yet. All the messenger said was “Don’t be afraid.” Don’t be afraid? How could she not be afraid? Everything about this conversation was strange. This wasn’t how she imagined her life.
Don’t be afraid, as her life was about to change forever.
Don’t be afraid, as she leaves to live with her aunt for a while.
Don’t be afraid of what her family and friends might think.
Don’t be afraid, of what Joseph will think.
Her life was out of her control. Her future was uncertain. Sound familiar? Still, somehow, she found the faith to say, “Let it be as you say.” Amazing!
Artist Statement "Do not be afraid." While reading the Annunciation, those words seemed to leap off the page. First, they were shared during the angel's message to Mary. And then, again, there they were when the angel visited Joseph. During their time of uncertainty, questions, and fear, the angel, this messenger of God, brought words of comfort and reassurance. We chose to focus on this as it is a message we need to be reminded of and to take comfort in today during our own uncertainties, questions, and fears. Prayer Savior God, life is pretty chaotic right now. So much of our life is out of our control. Will I have a job next week? Will I get sick? Will someone I love get sick? How long will I be alone, cut off and afraid? You sent a messenger to Mary and told her to not be afraid of the uncertainty of the future. I need that assurance today. Remind me again that you are in control. Remind me of your promise that you are with us always. Help me face my future with the same faith that Mary had. Amen.
Connect with Elim Worship on Zoom each Sunday morning at 10:15am Sunday Sermons and Wednesday Bible Study videos are posted each week to Facebook and to www.elimlc.com. There are opportunities for bible studies, discussion groups, confirmation, and youth ministry on regular basis on Zoom. Christmas Eve Services at 7pm on Zoom Facebook: ElimDuluth www.elimlc.com For questions or for Zoom login information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Display made by Roy Ober and Deb & Noah Westerberg