Corrie Berg tells the story of Mary during the fourth Sunday of Advent. The Time with Children in the worship service at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, NJ, focuses on telling Bible stories to the congregation. Storytellers from the church bring these stories to life with dramatic flair.
This Advent season we have been hearing the stories of the people surrounding the birth of Jesus. Two weeks ago, we learned about Zachariah and Elizabeth. Last week Pastor Dave told us the story of Joseph. Can anybody guess who we are going to learn about today? Mary! Today is Mary’s story, so let’s listen to her story.
Mary was a young woman who grew up in the town of Nazareth in the region of Galilee. Now at the beginning of this story, the Bible doesn’t tell us very much about Mary. It doesn’t say that she was super smart, or uncommonly pretty, or very remarkable in any way, so we assume she was pretty ordinary, and we know that the little town of Nazareth that she lived in, that was really ordinary. Now Mary was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph. That’s a great thing, but again, pretty ordinary. It happens. One day Mary was at her house, alone, hanging out, when the angel Gabriel came into the room. Now if you were listening, right now is when the story stops being ordinary.
The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Greetings, special one, the Lord is with you.” Now Mary, she was kind of shaken up, and she was confused, and she wondered what this greeting meant by this angel standing in her living room.
But Gabriel continued and said, “Settle down, don’t be afraid, listen carefully, God has a surprise for you. You are going to become pregnant, and you are going to give birth to a baby son, and you will name this boy ‘Jesus.’ He will be great. He will be the son of God, and he will reign forever and ever. God will give him the throne of King David, and his kingdom will have no end.”
Now Mary amazingly had the good common sense to speak up and to ask a question, and she said, “How can this possibly be? I’m not even married yet.”
Gabriel answers and says, “The Spirit of God will come upon you and hover over you. This child will be holy, the son of God. For nothing is impossible with God.” Did you hear? Nothing is impossible with God.
And do you know how Mary responded to all of that? That was a lot of information that she was given! Do you know how she responded? She said, “Ok. I think I understand, and I will do what God is asking of me.”
Let’s pray together. Dear Lord, we thank you for Mary’s faithfulness. We thank you for her bravery. We thank you that you sent you son Jesus into this world for our sake. In his name we pray, Amen.
Storyteller: Corrie Berg
Text: Luke 1:26-38
Corrie Berg is the Director of Children’s and Family Ministries at Nassau Presbyterian Church. She attended Jamestown University, a Presbyterian liberal arts college, majoring in Religion and English Literature. A highlight of her work is telling Bible stories to attentive children (and adults). It brings together her love of good literature, and her commitment to passing on the stories of our faith to the next generation.