Now just suppose this same angel, Gabriel, visits a young woman. Gabriel tells her that she's going to have a child. The young woman says, "How can that be?" Gabriel says, "Don't worry about it. We've got it covered." We, here in Douglas County, would be giving both these folks long looks. The fair young woman telling us why she's expecting. She had been such a wonderful example of Christian values until this happened. She turned out to be the mother of Jesus.
Both of these events happened within six months of each other. They're recorded in the first chapter of Luke. Of course, it wasn't Douglas County. But it happened just the same. Presenting the events in a place that we're familiar with gives one a good idea of what the locals of that time were probably thinking.
Christians of today still get some of the long looks of old time. People have doubted down through the centuries that there is a real living God. That His Son came to this earth to bear witness of God's willingness to sacrifice His own Son to redeem people from their sins. Live long enough and you'll hear everything from, "If your God is so good, why does He let people die?" to "All religions have God so it doesn't make any difference which one I believe."
Pastor Josh says, "Don't be surprised if you have the best news (the Good News) and they don't believe you." Some time ago, he was called to the bedside of a man who thought he was dying. He was in the hospital, called the Pastor, and told him that he wanted to "get right with the Lord" before he died. By the time Pastor Josh got there, the man had improved and felt better. The man no longer felt compelled to listen to the preacher.
Taking a look at the sermon text, Luke 1:5-45, the only one who believed was Mary. The others did eventually but not from the moment they were first told. It makes one wonder why it's hard to deliver the message that there is victory beyond death, hell, and the grave. That there's more to life than just winding up in a hole in the ground or ashes thrown on the wind. It's called eternity. And it's there for those who keep living and walking by faith.