I often speak about the story of Christ’s birth as the most famous “unplanned” pregnancy in history.
But the thing that prevented this pregnancy, which was unplanned from Mary and Joseph’s perspective, from becoming a crisis pregnancy was the message that the angel Gabriel carried from God to both Mary and Joseph.
Gabriel visited Mary and Joseph and told them that the child in Mary’s womb was the very Son of God. Without Gabriel to alert them to her coming pregnancy, Mary would have been left without a reason for the miracle growing within her womb and Joseph would have assumed that Mary had violated her vows of sexual purity. We know from Scripture that being a just man, he would have broken off the engagement as quietly as possible, heartbroken by Mary’s apparent betrayal.
Jesus could have been born to a single mother. He could have grown up without a father, without a community, and likely without a home. Keep in mind that being fatherless in Biblical times was just about the hardest life one could have.
But before Mary became pregnant, Gabriel arrived and told her not to fear. And when Joseph found out that she was pregnant, Gabriel arrived to give him the message of hope he needed to remain by her side: to raise Jesus as his son.
Thanks to Gabriel’s timely arrival, Mary and Joseph’s “unplanned” pregnancy did not become a crisis pregnancy.
Like Joseph’s decision in the Christmas story, the concerns surrounding pregnancy decisions we help women and men work through every day are not certain; abortion does not have to claim these precious lives. What is needed are “Gabriels” to step into these difficult pregnancy decisions with words of hope, hearts of compassion, and gifts of help.
God is looking for willing servants to be the “Gabriels” that the women and men considering abortion need in order to choose life. There are 5,000 women and men making a pregnancy decision today.
Will you be a “Gabriel” this Christmas in the life of someone who needs you?