The ‘Could Nots’ & The ‘Should Nots!’

(Taken from Week One of ‘Hope is Coming’ message, preached Sunday 4 Dec, 2016)

Reading: Luke 1 v 46 - 49 & Luke 1 v 57 - 66

The angel Gabriel arrives from the presence of God with a message for Zechariah and Mary. Gabriel hasn’t been mentioned since he visited Daniel some five hundred years earlier. And what he tells them is truly incredible to their ears.

Gabriel tells Zechariah that he and his elderly wife, Elizabeth, are going to have a son. His name will be John and he will be the forerunner to Jesus. People who couldn’t have kids for years will now have a son.

Later, Gabriel turns up in Nazareth and presents himself to Mary. Mary is a teenager and engaged to Joseph. Gabriel tells her she is going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit, and this baby will be called Jesus and be the Son of God! What went through her mind: what will people say? What will Jospeh say? What will my Dad say!!!? Now we have Mary, who shouldn’t be having kids, pregnant with a son.

What we notice is this: Elizabeth and Zechariah COULD NOT have kids. Mary SHOULD NOT (at this stage) have kids. 

Everyone, meet the ‘Could Nots’ and the ‘Should Nots.’

It seems to me that God has a wonderful way of using the ‘could nots’ and the ‘should nots’ to bring Jesus to life for the world.

Many of us feel either disqualified or under qualified to be used by God. Many of us feel we’re too old, too chronically ill, have too dodgy a reputation, or we’re too bad, too quiet, too nervous - well, because of Christmas, God shows us that He calls the ‘could nots’ and the ‘should nots’ to make Jesus famous.

1 Corinthians 1 v 27- ‘But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong…’

Are you feeling under qualified or unqualified to be used by God? By God’s grace, He calls you to make a difference. What small thing can you do to let others know that Jesus loves them today?


‘Dear God, thank you for calling very ordinary people. I know that in the world's eyes I’m a ‘could not’ or a ‘should not,’ but in your eyes I have purpose, value and calling. Help me to believe in you and to help others know Jesus loves them this Christmas, Amen.’