Luke 1:13-15 & 34-35 & 39-41 (NIVUK)
13 But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.
34 ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’
35 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.
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Gospel writers could not record everything that Jesus said and did – John makes that point at the end of his Gospel – and so they had to choose carefully what they believed was important and needed saying. If a Gospel writer says something, it’s important. If they repeat it a number of times, it’s very important. Time and time again in this opening chapter, Luke tells us that the Holy Spirit is at work. Like in Genesis 1, the Spirit is breaking into the world and shaking things up, bringing something new into being. Something significant is happening, because this doesn’t usually happen…
Spirit, awaken us to the significance of the Christmas story, this story of joy.