I think my favorite part of the Christmas story is actually the part that leads up to the actual Christmas story. I enjoy the part of the story found in Luke 1:1-38 because I find it very humorous.
It begins with Zechariah being told that he and his wife are going to have a child, the only problem is that they are old. Zechariah actually says to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” Notice how he calls himself “old” but his wife is not old she is just “advanced in years.” He is just looking for a sign to know that this is actually going to happen. The angel obliges by giving a sign, the sign is that He will shut up for the next 9 months. That’s right Zechariah is told to shut up for 9 months. Actually the angel tells him that he will be unable to speak, but “shut up” sounds better.
Then we see Mary being told that she is going to have a baby by the same angel. The problem this time is that Mary is a virgin. So she asks, how can this be. Her sign is that her relative Elizabeth, the old fart excuse me advanced in years, is six months pregnant.
Here is why I find this amusing.
1. All the wrong people are having babies. Old couples and virgins are not suppose to be having babies. On the list of people most likely not to have babies virgins would be pretty high up with old couples soon to follow.
2. The signs given are off the wall. Zechariah’s sign is that he will not be able to talk. So he has been given this great message from God but can’t tell anyone. Mary’s sign is that Elizabeth is pregnant. So the sign for one unlikely pregnant person is that some other unlikely pregnant person is pregnant.
This is why I love this story. God truly does things however He wants.