May we have eyes to see and ears to hear and wits to understand that beauty is as close as breathing and is crying out to be born within ourselves and in the world.

-Friedrich Buechner


Luke 1:26-31

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.


The account of the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary is given in a few brief verses. Gabriel’s salutation was discomforting to Mary, setting her mind spinning to understand. Despite the confusion and questions, Mary waited for more information. 

We can only imagine Mary’s intense emotions sparked by the announcement she received. Luke, the author, simply sums them up with the phrase, “Mary was greatly troubled.” To her implied fear the angel offered the encouraging words, “do not be afraid.” 

In verse 30 Mary received a full explanation of the angel’s message: she had favor with God. She will conceive, give birth to a son, and call him Jesus. 

The passage highlights the fulfillment of a promise of God. The Annunciation is beautifully portrayed in art and literature. God’s messenger had revealed to Mary that she was the chosen one of God to be the mother of the Messiah. David’s descendants would be the only ones to occupy Israel’s throne. The Davidic dynasty and kingdom would have no end. 

Mary is a good example. When events are perplexing in my life, God is faithful to send encouragement my way. It is helpful in unsettling times and events to take time to ponder, to wait for more information to come my way and to rest in my faith when I face something I cannot fully understand. May we have eyes to see, ears to hear and wits to understand God’s messages that come to us through unexpected visitors, events and other sources. 


When people around you are perplexed by the events of life, you can be their source of encouragement. You don’t need to have all the answers. Just be present. Bring two cups of hot cocoa and offer to sit and ponder with a friend. Offer to take someone to see the beauty of nature at a favorite scenic view. Expect God to give you and the people in your life eyes to see, ears to hear and wits to understand.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This