The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.” —Luke 1:19
Who is your favorite Christmas story character? Most of you would, of course, say, “Jesus!” And I understand that He is the first syllable in the word Christmas, as well as the reason there’s a Christmas season at all. But Jesus was still just a baby—so He really didn’t do much except show up (which, don’t get me wrong, was a really big deal).
Personally, I believe Gabriel doesn't get enough credit in our annual Christmas celebration. To set up the redemptive logistics, which was his role (he was the advance guy, the administrative assistant that made sure everyone was in the right place at the right time)—that role required all the smooth talking an angel was ever asked to muster. Gabe had to convince quite a few people of some pretty unbelievable things! His seemed to always be the role of delivering messages to high value targets on God’s behalf. Michael (the only other righteous angel given a name in the Bible) is revealed as more of a fighter than a talker.
I suppose you could call it, “Gabriel’s Christmas List.” In fact, not too unlike Santa, Gabriel had to make his own rounds on that first Christmas.
1. He first had to deal with an obstinate Zechariah (the father of John the Baptist), whose unbelieving attitude was an obstacle to God’s plan for revealing Jesus’ messianic mission to the world.
2. Then he had to convince a young teenager that God had this real cool plan that made it okay that she was pregnant even though she was still a virgin.
3. Then he had to talk her virtuous groom-to-be into sticking around after said groom-to-be found out that his pregnant bride-to-be (who had claimed to be a virgin) somehow still was a virgin.
4. Then he had to get a group of reclusive shepherds into attending a inter-galactic concert and party.
5. Last but not least, He had to act as a royal travel agent so the Magi could get home safely.
So, you think you’re busy getting ready for Christmas?