Gabriel stood and looked in the mirror. He and Michael had recently been in the thick of warfare for some time battling with God’s spiritual enemies. It was an honour to serve the Lord this way but as he looked in the mirror he thought it ironic that the enemy always put up a fight when God’s friends invariably responded to him with fear. Even when Gabriel appeared to people in the form of a man he always had to begin his message by telling them not to be afraid.
He moved over to his inbox and checked for new messages. Apart from waging war on the kingdom of darkness, delivering messages from God was a major part of his role. He loved this side of his job.
And today was to be the greatest message he would ever deliver so far.
Setting his sights on the little village in Galilee, Gabriel swooped down to the girl just as he had been instructed. She was called Mary and was engaged to be married to Joseph, a man descended from David.
“Right!” he told himself, “She’s a young girl. Don’t scare her. No big show of heavenly lights, no fireworks, just a gentle greeting. And let’s try some kind words to win her over.”
She covered her ears as her body buckled on the floor.
“That went well” he thought to himself. “Keep going, she’ll come round. They always do.”
“GOD IS WITH YOU, GOD SEES YOU AND KNOWS ALL ABOUT YOU. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL TO HIM BOTH INSIDE AND OUT. BLESSINGS!”
She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. So Gabriel assured her, trying to lower the boom of his voice:
“Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call him Jesus.”
Mary was about to ask, “What the…” but Gabriel was now in full flow…
“Your son will be great. He will be called Son Of The Highest and he will rule in God’s never-ending kingdom.”
Mary was now in shock. She didn’t really understand all this information at once. A son? A ruler? First things first though, there was one rather obvious, big question:
“But how? I’ve never slept with a man.” She was so nervous and frightened she was unsure whether she’d said that out loud or just thought it. Either way, the angel answered:
“The power of the Holy Spirit will cause you to be pregnant so you will know for sure that this child is Holy, the Son of God.”
Somehow, deep down inside, everything made sense. She could not understand any of this in her mind, but from somewhere deeper, in some unsearchable element of her being Mary found herself speaking from the heart,
“Yes, I see it all now. I am God’s servant. Let it be just as you have said.”
Gabriel could see that his work here was done, so he left Mary for his heavenly home. The atmosphere back in heaven was electric. There was an air of anticipation and preparation. Father, Son and Holy Spirit had been watching the whole episode along with countless angels who were now worshiping and celebrating at what felt like new heights of praise. Gabriel thought he saw a flicker of pain flash across the Son’s face as the Father glanced at him with sorrow in his heart. Something historic was about to happen.