The Annunciation of Our Lord | March 25, 2021
Luke 1:26-38 | New Living Translation
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37 For the word of God will never fail.”
38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
So here we are nearing the end of Lent – preparing our hearts for the season of Easter and along comes March 25. Today there are 9 months left until Christmas. Today we celebrate Gabriel coming to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus. This is a passage that we normally use at Advent. But it also reminds us of the timespan that in involved in Jesus coming as Emmanuel – God with us.
Over the last few years, Pam and I have been doing a Lenten photo challenge. It is an Instagram/Facebook discipline called the Instalent Photo Challenge and it is put together by Busted Halo. I remember seeing the prompt last year and it was “Mary.” James and I took a drive to St. Bonaventure to capture a picture of a pieta.
A pietà is a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, most often found in sculpture. As such, it is a particular form of the Lamentation of Christ, a scene from the Passion of Christ found in cycles of the Life of Christ.
I remember being surprised by that prompt last year and this year’s prompt is “yes.” As I looked through my memories on Facebook, I came across last year’s picture and I had an epiphany. The word yes is what Mary said to the angel Gabriel. Actually what she said was:
We have no idea what age Mary was, but we know that she was probably young, maybe even a teenager. She was engaged/promised to Joseph and the fact that she was unmarried and pregnant would be a huge scandal. We do know that she was a righteous person and she was willing to follow God’s plan whatever the cost.
Mary said “Yes” to the angel and ultimately she said yes to God. She was willing to carry the son of God – and give birth to Emmanuel, God with us – the one who would save the world from our sin.
I am thankful this morning that Mary said yes!
Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his Cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.