Mary had just received the news that she was about to be the mother of Israel’s long-awaited Messiah . . . as a virgin.

Who, in the world, was going to believe that her pregnancy was not the result of immorality, but rather a miracle from God?  Who in the world could she share this incredible news with, without being thought absolutely crazy and immoral?

Gabriel, the angel who delivered the message to her, was aware of all this.  So he provided her with an outlet—someone who could surely understand, believe and rejoice with her . . . and more than that, confirm the incredible news she had just received.

That would be her older relative, Elizabeth, who had also just experienced a miracle of God—her own conception in her old age of the Messiah’s forerunner, John the Baptist.  So Gabriel told Mary all about Elizabeth’s pregnancy, and Mary decided it was time for a visit. 

Sure enough, Mary was not disappointed.  The moment Mary greeted her, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and declared to Mary that she was indeed the mother of her Lord, and that her own baby, John, had jumped in her womb at the sound of Mary’s greeting.

It’s a testimony of the goodness of God.  He expects us to want to share good news with others, especially the good news of Jesus with the promise of eternal life that He brings.  And He often provides opportunities to share that Good News with others even in the most challenging of circumstances. 

And that’s exactly why the story of Jesus is called the “Good News.”  It is actually fantastic news to people who know that on their own, no matter how hard they try, they can’t be good enough for God or for heaven.  It is incredibly good news in this one respect—heaven, or eternal life, is a free gift for anyone who desires it, because it comes on the basis of faith—a repentant faith—in Jesus, who paid for our sins on the cross so that those of us who believe won’t have to pay for our own sins. 

Is Christmas—that is, Jesus coming to save you from your sins as a free gift—good news to you?

If it’s not, maybe it’s because you haven’t received the gift.  Why not receive it by putting your faith, your trust, in Jesus and Jesus alone, as your Savior today?

After all, it was Jesus Himself who said to a woman who was certain she was undeserving of heaven:  “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10b).

Why not receive the gift of Christmas today?