Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Tuesday, December 8, Evening

By Jane Gulley

For with God, Nothing is Impossible

Read Luke 1:26-38

 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.


My mother has friends from all of her eight decades of life, back to college days and childhood. She enjoys sharing her Christmas cards with me, and I read them all. Instead of the photo cards crammed with travel pics that I get from my crowd, there are actual handwritten letters. Many of Mother’s correspondents are Midwesterners who don’t mince words in their holiday updates.

Sample comments: “Down to one dog. Still fostering though.”

Caption of a family group: “Picture is old but good still. The older grandkids are tired of posing for pictures, but of course Grandma loves lots of them.”

“We continue to work for the local funeral home, with Karl doing the majority of that work.”

And the evergreen topic, health: “My sister wanted no more doctors or tests, so we called hospice and that was settled.” “Arthritis bothers me, but that’s what happens.” “I’m hanging in there, but this aging process isn’t a walk in the park.”

But the Christmas card I thought about the most from last year had no personal news or photo, and hardly any ink on it. It was a card notifying my mother that a gift had been made in her honor to Fish Hospitality Pantries to provide food for hungry families in Knoxville.

The donor lives in a senior care facility. She does not drive, and her children are not nearby. But her card reminded me of her skill and caring when she was my son’s preschool teacher almost twenty years ago. I realized that she is still influencing people by teaching others (me!) with her act of charity, and that God uses seemingly powerless people to teach powerful lessons.


Lord, help us to recognize and accept opportunities to brighten the lives of others in meaningful ways. For with God, nothing is impossible.

This advent devotion was written by Jane Gulley in remembrance of our members in senior healthcare facilities.  

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