Day 19

The Annunciation

from the Advent 2019: A Thrill of Hope reading plan

Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:18-25

The gender reveal. Chances are good you’ve either witnessed this at a baby shower or on social media. Maybe you’ve even done one yourself to share your own news with friends and family. It’s not like gender reveals are a new thing. They’ve taken place for years and years, although usually in the privacy of a doctor’s office. But with the advent of social media they’ve gone, well, viral, and can sometimes reveal something of a competition rather than a celebration.

Google “gender reveal” and prepare to be astounded at the unique and creative ideas people are using to announce to their family and friends (and the Internet): “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!” From gender-reveal piñatas and gender-reveal fireworks, to gender-reveal Hershey’s or Hershey’s chocolate bars—couples and their friends are going all out to let their loved ones know just “who” is on the way. Probably my favorite in recent memory was the gender reveal of a weightlifter and his wife. The husband pressed a significant amount of weight overhead and then dropped it on two paper bags filled with colored powder. Not until those weights dropped on those bags—and poof!—did they (or we) know that “It’s a girl!”

Then the angel told her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son,
and you will name him Jesus” (Luke 1:30–31).

Of course, if a prize were given for the most significant gender reveal ever, it would no doubt go to one announced not on social media or even in a doctor’s office, but in an earthen room. No piñatas, no fireworks, no Hershey’s bars, just a young Jewish girl and an angel.

But far more than gender was revealed here. Pregnancy, gender, and both the child’s name and His Father’s were proclaimed to the young mother-to-be. Gabriel announced to Mary that she was about to become a mother (when she’d not yet been intimate with Joseph), that her baby would be a boy, and that the boy’s name was already chosen: Jesus. And who was the Father? Gabriel revealed this child would be none other than the Son of God.

Written by John Blase

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