An Angel Visits Mary

Open Your Bible

Luke 1:26-38, Job 33:4, Isaiah 7:14, Daniel 7:13-14

Section 3: The Light Dawns

I have three daughters who are the proud owners of two rabbits. We’ve tried and failed at a lot of animals, but bunnies seem to suit us. My oldest has a special bond with Puffy, who is, as my daughter describes her, “a perfect puff ball of love.” My youngest daughter has a special love for Flopsie, who is, in her words, “a floppy-eared buttercup of cuteness.” Our middle daughter likes Lego. Don’t worry about it.

Something I’ve noticed about my girls since they’ve become bunny owners is their fixation on rabbit life spans. Both of our rabbits have had surgeries that are supposed to prolong their lives by eliminating the risk of certain diseases. But my girls are old enough to know that all life ends in death, even after preventative surgeries. Often, we’ll discuss prayer requests and my daughters pray that Puffy and Flopsie, “will live longer than any other bunnies have ever lived.” How many years they might live is the topic of a lot of conversations.

Isn’t it a natural desire within us, that we don’t want the good stuff to end? We don’t want the things we love to die. 

In today’s reading, we remember the miracle of Jesus’s birth. We remember the beauty of the promise Jesus brought with Him—the hope of a kingdom that has no end. What our hearts always hope will be true is actually true in Jesus. 

“His kingdom will have no end…” —Luke 1:33

The love we experience in Christ is eternal. We don’t have to enjoy it for a season and then say goodbye. And there are no special surgeries we have to schedule or endure or pay for in hopes that we might get to keep it a little longer.

Jesus did the hard part. When He came down to this broken place of pain, when He fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy and entered the world the way the angel told Mary He would, when He gave up His life to save ours, He gave us access to His kingdom—His forever, eternal-life kingdom, where love is complete and secure and never goes away. 

It hurts my heart to think about all the loss my girls will experience as they grow up. They’ll lose toys they love and pets they love and even people they love. But what a thrilling hope we have, that the kingdom of God has no end. Because of Jesus, we can live forever with Him and for Him.

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76 thoughts on "An Angel Visits Mary"

  1. Brandy Deruso says:

    Lord I thank you lord

  2. Lindsey M says:


  3. Erika Swango says:

    To have no end of an amazing kingdom ❤️

  4. Corey Zimmerman says:

    Love this reading

  5. Kenzie Revell says:


  6. Laurie Crary says:

    Stephanie, Amen and Amen.

  7. Bailey Crenshaw says:

    Praying for you and your family. Jason means “healing,” and I love that our Jason’s found theirs.. even if though our hearts hurt without them. God is good and He is with us. Merry Christmas, Cristina.

  8. Shaena Elizabeth says:

    @Maria Dobbs I sometime struggle with the reflection questions as well. On those days I try my best but I focus more on just writing a journal entry in the provided space. God always leads me to some new understanding, sometimes related to the reflection question and sometimes something that helps me understand a current life circumstance, and often times simply a new understanding about God himself. I wanted to pass along some encouragement to keep going even when you feel like it’s not going well because God will meet you in your obedience and give you the understanding he has for you ❤️

  9. Shaena Elizabeth says:

    @kimN I noticed this as well! For nothing is impossible WITH God. He is a relational God. We see this in the trinity and in how we were also created to live with one another(our previous 2 week study) I love this detail. He can do all things but He uses broken people to carry out His will so we can be in community WITH Him! He brings us along ❤️

  10. Shaena Elizabeth says:

    @kimN I noticed this as well! For now hung is impossible WITH God. He is a relational God. We see this in the trinity and in how we were also

  11. Britta GH says:

    Jesus did the hard part. Amen and Thank you Lord!

  12. Thes says:

    KELLY-aah oké, like you say no one is perfect in his or her understanding of God, and in this case his Word . In the newes jaar I’ll need to do a Bible study on job, but thank you foreally the answer for now .

  13. Ellen Melson says:

    This spoke to me in a very personal way. Today is the second anniversary of the death of my dad. I take such comfort in knowing where he is and knowing that he is a citizen of a kingdom that has no end. Praise Jesus for eternal life in Him.

  14. Maria Dobbs says:

    I am having trouble understanding and completing the reflection parts of the subscription book… can anyone offer tips so that I can see the value in getting the physical books for each devotion?

  15. Claire B says:

    If I don’t post again, Merry Christmas to all! Our Savior is born.

  16. Claire B says:

    Oh, Tina, you always move me. We love our earthly life because we done “know” any other. So clinging to this life seems natural. Who will be in charge if we are gone? Can they function without me? Who will pray the Lord’s Armor over them daily? We don’t have a true visual of Heaven so we try to compare to here. Lord help us keep our focus on you and what comes after.

  17. Claire B says:

    Oh, Tina, you always move me. As much as we “love” our earthly life and people I

  18. Catherine Woodberry says:

    ❤️ Grateful for Christ’s permanence, and the eternal hope He has given us.

  19. Cammy Miley says:

    I loved reading this today. It filled my cup up.

  20. Stacey Edwards says:

    Tina- I felt the same way about the Job verse.

  21. Traci Gendron says:

    TINA – at Tanner’s service there was a picture of him and his two cousins (brothers). Two out of the three are gone. Both died in their 30’s. My brother looked at that picture and thought, oh please don’t take Patrick next. I agree there is a place that we are made whole again. I saw Tanner smiling and happy. And yes, one day we will be together again. I am so very thankful for that.

  22. By His Grace says:

    This is exactly what I needed today. A lady that I really looked up to as a grandma after both my grandmas died just passed away yesterday and I needed to read this.

  23. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I love that God’s kingdom has no end. ❤️As a young child I learned about death early on when I lost both of my grandmothers in elementary school. My grandmother’s death, and other events, led to me also loosing touch with my cousins, aunt and grandfather. I have spent so much of my life being scared of death. It’s such a comfort to me that I can’t loose Christ by death or any other way. ❤️I pray that I would just sit in that truth today.

  24. Gwendolyn Vincent says:

    Melanie, I am a 5 year breast cancer survivor. They found a tiny(pea size) spot in my left breast. It was cancer. But the great thing is they caught it in time. So I’m saying to you, even if it turns out to be somthing, thank God it seems they are catching it in time. His Will, will be done. Keeping you lifted in prayer. Put it in his hands. He got you. Be blessed my sister.❤

  25. Victoria E says:

    Melanie and Eva- Marie , praying for your situations. I too am struck again by Mary’s surrender. I pray the Lord will give me a heart like Mary’s, like Jesus’, the heart of a servant willing to go where I am told to go and also ears to hear the direction when it comes.

  26. Mary Brown says:

    So good that even though Mary was scared, and faced a lot of risk for being unmarried and pregnant, she was faithful and said “I am the Lords servant. May everything you have said about me come true” such a testament of her faith! That’s the kind of boldness I pray for myself. The only thing I was unsure of was the translation that is used in this. I’ve only ever heard Mary ask how it could be true because she has not been with a man or other translation say because she is a virgin. I don’t know how I feel about these newer translations and using “I haven’t had sexual relations” to stay relevant. I don’t think that term was ever used in the Bible and I just don’t think it sounds as pure.

  27. Brandi says:

    @churchmouse Praying your prayer with you the morning! Praying for the strength to bow in obedience and say Yes. Thank you! Love you my sisters in Christ!

  28. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    @Sara D. – praying for you today. God knows what you struggle with, He sees, He hears. May He give peace to your heart today and calm all your anxieties…Somethings that I have found to help when suffering from anxiety – write down on a 3×5 card some scripture verses that pertain to anxiety and how God will help you through, when you’re feeling anxious take them out and read them out loud and then pray them. Also listen to praise and worship when you are feeling most anxious, and give yourself little “prep-talks” …”I know God is with me, I know this will pass, I know He hears me, I know He wants what will best glorify Him and grow me in my faith. I know I can get through this.” Blessings to you today!

  29. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    @ Melanie -Praying for you today, that it would be nothing to be concerned about, that God’s will be done, and that He give you grace and peace if things don’t go the way you have hoped…blessings to you today!

  30. Cristina Higgins says:

    @Bailey Crenshaw, When I read in your message, “Just as He healed Jason from his cancer with the hope of heaven.” My heart just stuttered. My Son Jason was healed of his cancer almost a year ago when God took him to heaven. My heart was hurting, on this our first Christmas without our son. Thank you for the reminder that our Jason is also healed of his terrible illness by the hand of our Father. Merry Christmas to all my SRT sisters around the world.

  31. CeeGee says:

    One of my newer favorites is HALLELUJAH CHRISTMAS, a CHRISTMAS version of the secular song by Leonard Cohen. Yesterday I watched a video on YouTube done by Caleb and Kelsie. If you have a few minutes, take a look and listen. The clips they use depicting Jesus’ life mesh so beautifully with the song. My heart was so blessed and thankful!

    MELANIE, I join you in prayer for your mammogram today. SARAH D, praying for God’s leading in your struggle with anxiety. DOROTHY, praying for the wedding today.
    Oops, gotta run, but covering prayer needs with you al!

  32. Dorothy says:

    The whole time I was reading Scarlet’s devotion I was thinking of the words of the song “Mary Did You Know.” I’m listening to the Pentatonix version of it now. It is one of my favorite Christmas Songs because it tells the whole story of Christ. Here’s the link to it —
    Lord thank you for doing “the hard part.” Thank you for your eternal love sent through Your Son Jesus Christ. Help us to remember the true reason for this time of year — to celebrate the birth of Your Son. Amen
    Today is the day my son gets married — 5 pm CST. I’m very excited for him.
    Be blessed and remember what this time of year is all about, sisters.

  33. Samantha M. says:

    May our eyes be fixed on YOU, THE GOOD NEWS, so we may be present this season, and a reflection of your joy and peace to all amidst everything going on in our inner and outer worlds.

  34. Skylar Hilton says:

    Good morning dear sisters!

    I would like to remind everyone how lucky we are to have Jesus. At any time, He could have quit. But He never did. This is the same with Mary and Joseph. They could have said no, could have said we give up… but.. they never did as well. We should be so grateful that Jesus opened up heaven for us, even though we did not deserve it. Jesus never really owe anything to us… but He did give us everything. I love Him so much ❤️❤️

  35. Janet Landrigan says:

    Recently came across the closing words of C.S.Lewis’s The Last Battle:
    For them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world…had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on and on forever: in which every chapter is better that the one before.
    Thank You, my Savior, for entering this dark world, giving yourself for us so that we may be with You forever!

  36. Churchmouse says:

    Lord, may my response to Your call and command always be “I am the Lord’s servant.” Let my response be “Not my will but Yours be done.” Replace any fear or trepidation with complete surrender to You. For I know the only proper response of a subject before the King is to bow in obedience. And to say Yes. Amen.

  37. Elizabeth Dunkerson says:

    Always great to remember that we will have an eternal place with Jesus.

  38. Heidi V says:

    I loved how in this weeks podcast they said that today’s scripture reading is the first time we learn that our Saviors name is to be Jesus when Gabriel tells Mary. I had not realized that before. It feels really special. Have a blessed day today She’s! Whatever we don’t get done this week just wasn’t meant to be done!

  39. Mari V says:

    Beautiful devotion. Because of Jesus we can live forever with Him and for Him. I can’t wait for the day that we see Jesus face-to-face. Ps. We used to have a lopped ear bunny named Buttercup. Oh how we loved him.

  40. Angie says:

    Mary’s obedience was worship.
    The angel declared, and Mary’s heart, mind, mouth, and body obeyed …she laid down her plans in submission. She chose to worship in obedience her LORD, God, King. There was no thinking about it, considering, deciding – God directed, and although it would change her world completely, (and all of our worlds-praise God), she simply laid down her plans for His.
    A teenage girl, Mary, knew where her worship dwelled, in God alone. We have the addition of the Holy Spirit to indwell us made possible by the Son of God, Jesus. And, a part of the presentation of that gift is the act of Mary’s worshipful obedience.
    From, Unwrapping the Names of Jesus, by Asheritah Ciuciu, “In the words of Jen Wilkin, ‘The heart cannot love what the mind does not know.” Help us to know you more LORD Jesus. May we worship in Spirit, truth, and obedience.
    From HRT today: “If Mary teaches us anything, it’s that the lines between sacred and secular are not what we think. Every moment is sacred, because every moment is a window through which God intends to shine His light.”
    Moment by moment, day by day. For You, our God and King. Amen.

  41. Robin Tella says:


  42. Maria Baer says:

    Today’s scripture brought to the surface the grief of losing my father 8 yrs ago. It still feels like yesterday, but now there is also the feeling of expectation that one day I will see him again, along with my grandparents, because the kingdom of God has no end. As the devotion said today— Because of Jesus, we can live forever with Him and in Him.

  43. KimN says:

    Today I was struck by “For nothing is impossible WITH God.” I think I’ve read it before and interpreted it as Nothing is impossible FOR God. That’s also true but WITH implies a togetherness. That when we’re about the Lord’s business, anything is possible!

    Talk about light! “A thrill of hope” as it were!

    Sisters, you are not in your dark place alone. Immanuel, God with us, is there with you so when you pray, remember. Nothing is impossible WITH God.

  44. Maria Baer says:

    Melanie, sending so many bold prayers.

  45. BeckyBee says:

    As Melanie mentioned, I can’t imagine mornings without my STR community. I don’t comment much because I’m not good getting my thoughts to writings. But I read and pray for you and with you. I wish we could all do a zoom study together. I appreciate you all. Merry Christmas to my friends and sisters in Christ.

  46. Eva-Marie Hester says:

    There’s a little girl in my community who has an inoperable brain tumor. The prognosis isn’t good. Although she’s receiving treatments and is involved in a medical trail she isn’t improving; she’s getting worse. We know that the Lord can heal her, for He is her healer, but will it be in this side of eternity. Please pray for Sydney and her family.

  47. Maura says:

    Mary’s heart for God so lovely and ing to obey. Praying for the requests here Sisters, Sarah D, peace for your mind and heart. Melanie, praying for good news in your test. He is mighty our Lord God, making a way. So thankful for Jesus. HRT definity worth reading today too. Praying for a heart that hears His will and obeys.

  48. Anne Carlson says:

    @Melanie. Absolutely! Take one step at a time. Breathe deeply and often. You are not alone. Hugs!

  49. Elizabeth Oster says:


  50. hope says:

    Good morning sisters! The HRT reading is also excellent today.
    Today’s reading has me meditating on Mary’s obedience and faith.
    I’ve heard the Christmas story so many times that it is easy to allow it to become like the wallpaper, something I never really consider or contemplate. BUT, every facet of this story is extraordinary. Mary’s choice to believe and obey could have had so many dire consequences. BUT she unswervingly offers up her life, completely trusting in the goodness of God.

  51. Antoinette Burnett says:


  52. Sarah D. says:

    I keep thinking on why Jesus came as a baby. He didn’t have to come at all, and yet he did. He didn’t have to come as a baby, and yet he did!! He came and experienced all that we experience. He was tempted, but without sin. And he did it for us. Despite the temptation and suffering, he still did it for us. Thank you Lord for who you are and your sacrificial heart for us. You came to dwell with us, so that one day, we may dwell with you forever and ever.

    Prayers appreciated for my anxiety. I’m praying I’ll find resources on how to help it (of course God’s Word is my first tool, but at this point I think some other tools in combination are needed). Praying that I would know my identity is in Christ, and that he gives me strength to face each day. He defines who I am, not my actions. Praying that even though I make mistakes, I will get back up and learn from them. Happy Tuesday SRT sisters!

  53. Bailey Crenshaw says:

    I’ve never commented on here before, but the Lord used today’s reading to compel me. My husband and I have been in a deep season of grief after losing our close pastor/friend/mentor on Thanksgiving- he was a father-like figure to us both for over 16 years (introduced us to Jesus when we were itty bitty, introduced my husband and I to eachother, married us, prayed we’d have a baby girl and we did, encouraged us through the hardest traumas and celebrated our successes so well). We see his legacy of love all around us and it makes us miss him so much more. Our hearts our broken and yet God is meeting us so sweetly in this. His love hasn’t left us and is carrying us and will heal this just as He healed Jason from his cancer with the hope of Heaven. This is why Jesus came- into a world of grief so that our grief would be no more. What a gift. Thankful to have been reminded of that today when I needed it.

  54. Heidi says:

    Definitely praying. For peace regardless of the situation, for wisdom and truth on the part of your doctor, and God’s good grace and comfort to be experienced in a new way.

  55. Aimee D-R says:

    Blessed assurance. Thank you Father for the best gift, Your Son, and the blessed assurance that Heaven awaits. In Jesus name, Amen

  56. Jennifer Spiers says:

    We serve the true cloud rider who holds our place in His Kingdom with the Ancient of Days! Santa ain’t got nothin on Him haha! But I’ll take the holly jolly spirit of it all pointing to the most beautiful gift deliverer of all! Merry CHRIST in our hearts MAS.

  57. Melanie says:

    Would you pray for me today? I go in for my third mammogram today for a spot they found and I meet with a doctor. Pray it is nothing and all is well and if it isn’t that my heart will not be troubled thank you

  58. Robin Lagrama says:


  59. Melanie says:

    I love my mornings with SRT I couldn’t imagine life without it. I love reading comments. I do not have a knack for writing and formulating my thoughts is hard. This holiday my heart aches likes so many. Sick parents, struggling kids, health issues, but today right now I’m thankful for Jesus. I’m here for a reason I have yet to be called home. Let our lives reflect our Father today and always. Forgive those who have hurt and offended you. Praying for peace for all of us

  60. Marilyn Jones says:

    When my mother in law lost her husband, her comment was now I’ve out lived all of my friends, parents, brothers and sisters, and even my husband. Now I’m ready to going be with my father. She lived several more years, and she is now in heaven with every one who went before.

  61. Rebekah McDonald says:

    All the things on my mind and the burdens of my heart will one day pass away and only Jesus will remain. Abba, my hope is in you.

  62. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    “He shall reign forever…and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:31 No more goodbyes – forever! Now that is something to hope for, to look forward to, to dream about! I think saying goodbye is one of the hardest things in life to have to do. I’m reminded of the apostle Paul in Acts 20:36-38, when he said his tearful, final goodbyes to the elders of the church at Ephesus – those he had worked along side and come to know and love. Whether it’s your dearest friend moving to the other side of the world, your child going off to college or a loved one departing this earth – it can be heart wrenching! But God…He has prepared a place for us where there will be no more goodbyes, no more heartache no more sorrow – and it will be forever!! “Therefore, comfort one
    another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians) 4:18 Hallelujah!

  63. Stephanie Hardin says:

    Hope. It’s our source of strength in the battle. And this tiny, precious baby is the lifeblood. The answer to the problem before it ever happened. Creator, sustainer, redeemer… all wrapped up in swaddling clothes. My Jesus.

  64. Alice Swearingen says:

    Mary’s surrendered heart is beautiful! ❤️

  65. Kelly says:

    DOROTHY – praying all goes well with your son’s wedding and his M-I-L will be well enough to enjoy the celebration.

  66. Kelly says:

    THES-Elihu was the one speaking in Job. At the end, the Lord does not rebuke him for his words, just the other three. Elihu was a little deeper in his speeches in allowing for suffering to come without being for reasons beyond punishment. He still wasn’t perfect in his understanding of the Lord but who is?

  67. May D says:

    Blessings to you Tina. Your posts have always spoke to my heart. Can’t wait to see the joy in heaven with you and your daughter!

  68. Mary Ann Graves says:

    Tina….thank you for your words. They really resonated in my soul .

  69. Ashleigh Anerton says:

    I loved this so much. Everything my ears needed to hear and my heart needed to know ❤️ A merry Christmas to everyone!

  70. Amanda Luckman says:

    Thinking of how we tell the story of the victory of the second Advent and life forever through the narrative of the darkness and triumph of Easter, of death and grave entered and conquered.

  71. Arina says:

    God’s power, His omnipotence, isn’t the first thing I would mention when thinking about Christmas. Jesus seems so small, so powerless, coming as a little baby. But it’s all over today’s reading, and yesterday’s. The old Elizabeth who gets pregnant. Mary who conceives, but not from a man. Jesus is born as a little, helpless baby. But at the same time, He reigns. He has been given the throne of David and His dominion will be forever. If Mary asks, How can this be? The answer is: “For nothing is impossible with God!”

  72. Kristen says:

    Thank you, Tina! Yes, you have helped me and I’m sure many others would agree! May God please bless you all!

  73. Tina says:

    I have a picture in my mind of two friends and myself out walking. Carol and I, then Terry joined us later for a bit before he carries on his walk! Of the people in that picture, two celebrated their birthdays in heaven on Saturday.. and one day, in the near future, all three will no longer be here on earth.. a true fact!
    I can’t change that! No amount of eating ‘rabbit’ food, or latest drugs, clonic irrigation, or exercising can stop that..
    I was reminded as I wrote, of the film with Mel Gibson and Jamie Curtis, where he is preserved (cyro.. something) and is found years later, only to age.. okay, that is not the gist of the story, but my point is..even that was not going to make him live forever!!

    BUT GOD…

    The days we are blessed to be here on earth, are our stepping stones to the real deal.. The Kingdom of God.. which has no end. Hallelujah. Amen!
    There is such awful pain and hurting in losing loved ones, whatever the age, when we have loved so wholeheartedly.

    BUT GOD..
    ..has taught me (even shown me) that there is a place, with a beautiful meadow, and in this place my loved one was made whole, was happy and free from the pain and suffering of this world.. I hear her words now as I write.. ” I am alright mum, I am happy ” as she ran through the meadow whole and well, and so very free..

    BUT GOD..

    OH, BUT GOD,

    I am thankful for this time here on earth, this life, BUT, also very thankful to know this world is not my home, that I am, just passing through, I just pray that when I am called home, I would have left it a little better than perhaps I experienced it..


    Blessings dear friends, wrapped in love, prayers and hope for a God anointed day..❤

  74. Thes says:

    Absolutely lovely ! It touch me deeply, Yet the only thing I don’t understand is the Job 33:4 text. For as far as I know, it’s a text said by one of jobs ‘friends’ who read the situation wrong and gave a irrelevant speech out of his own ‘I’m in the Lord’ proudness. It is a beautiful proclamation and a even greater lesson, but hear it feels taken out of context. But maybe I’m wrong or missing something, if that is the case please let me know :).
    But anyway have a lovely day!

  75. Ashley Spragins says:

    This is what my heart needed to hear today ❤️