Gabriel appeared to Mary in Nazareth some months after the appearance to Zechariah in Jerusalem. His name means ‘strong man of God’ and he is clearly a powerful angel. Every angelic appearance on earth is a shock but if angels could be expected to appear anywhere, it would surely, in the view of most religious Jews at this time, be in the temple in Jerusalem. Gabriel appeared to Mary, a girl probably still in her teens and not a very important member of her community, in Nazareth, a distant back water of a place.
The news was shocking. Mary although not yet married would have a son, the son would be called ‘the Son of the Most High’, he would reign on David’s throne and his kingdom would never end. God was about to send his Son into the world to be born of a young girl. Once more, Gabriel provided the name, Jesus, meaning Yahweh saves.
Perhaps we have become familiar with the idea but if we step back for a moment the whole thing is astounding, God send his Son into the world, a world that was sinful and broken, a world where he would be largely hated.
We thank you Lord that you sent your Son to save us. Thank you that with you there is no such thing as an obscure place.
Help us Lord to live in the salvation that Jesus brings.