The Life of the "Christ Child"...
An Angel Suddenly Appeared
God's home is in Heaven, but God in His greatness is very powerful and can be anywhere at any time. God can also send His messenger angels to earth on special missions.
One of God's messenger angels, Archangel Gabriel appeared suddenly one day to a man named Zacharias while he was in the Temple. The archangel told Zacharias a special message. He and his wife Elizabeth would have a son and they were to name him "John." John would be born to Zacharias and Elizabeth and teach many people to know of God's Son.
Some time later, God's angel came to earth again and appeared to Elizabeth's cousin and also gave her the message that she would have a son too! Elizabeth's cousin was St. Mary. The angel, Archangel Gabriel, appeared and announced to her that she had been chosen by God to bear the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
St. Mary would be the first person in the entire world to receive the Lord Jesus Christ. St. Mary must have been whole heartedly devoted to God to receive this highest of blessings. God chose her above all the women in the world to give birth to His Son!
Also, because she gave birth to the Lord Jesus Christ, St. Mary is the first among all the women of the world. We call her honored among women because without hesitation she obeyed God and conceived and gave birth to the Lord.
When St. Mary gave birth to the Lord Jesus Christ we then called her the Mother of God. Why? Because this tells us her Son was fully a man and fully God.
This is why our Church honors St. Mary in hymns, icons, special feast days in her honor, and asks St. Mary to intercede with her Son on our behalf. St. Mary was the source of the Lord Jesus Christ's human nature.
The announcement made by Archangel Gabriel is called the Annunciation. Did you know the Feast of the Annunciation is celebrated by our church exactly nine months before the Holy Feast of the Nativity? That's right, nine months was the time required to conceive and give birth to the Lord Jesus Christ. This special birthday celebration filled the sky with singing angels and will be in the story to come...Remember: St. Mary was the chosen mother of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Questions for the Learner:
1. What is an Archangel?
2. What is the Annunciation?
3. What is the Nativity?