“While [Zechariah] was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.’
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. For nothing will be impossible with God.’” Luke 1:8-9,11-14;26-33,37
While I often read this account and marvel at how these women, one old and barren and the other a virgin, felt upon receiving Gabriel and his life-altering news that they would bear children, this morning I ponder Gabriel. What a privilege to be God’s messenger, to be assigned to speak for Him directly to those God indicated, with truth that brought great (if not shocking) joy! Not only is Luke’s account inspired, but Gabriel’s very words were God-breathed promises to these unsuspecting women.
We know we are created human and not angels, but God has given us the glad task of announcing His good news that changes lives, of telling others not to be afraid, new life is available, nothing is impossible with Him, all He promises will come to pass. How eagerly do I deliver His word? (Hebrews 1:7,14; Romans 10:14-15; Proverbs 30:5)
Father, Author of all good news, connect me so closely to You that I know Your word and readily, with bold joy and without delay, announce it to those You appoint for me. Make me a Gabriel, a minister to others, serving at Your bidding.