As I prepare for Advent sermons, I am considering free-will vs the sovereignty of God within those narratives. I am aware that the topic is or ought to be elementary, however I thank God for the beauty found within His Word. Luke 1, the birth of John announced to Zacharias, the text makes clear that Zacharias and Elizabeth were past child bearing years, and likely not expecting (nor praying) for a child as indicated by their surprise to the announcement. In other words no one asked them for permission. Luke 1 and Matthew 1, the angelic announcement to Mary, nothing indicates that Mary was asked permission before God decided to plant the child in her womb. Seems like the triune God totally invaded her space. Growing up and spending all my life amongst free-will theology, the phrase "God is a gentleman and would never force Himself upon a person" was overstated. This statement at the very least implies that man's will is free and God will not overpower that will. Yet, even in the Bethlehem narratives we find the beauty of the sovereign God at work. From an old Christmas hymn: And we with them, triumphant, Repeat the hymn again: "To God on high be glory, And peace on earth to men!"