Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reflection on the Annunciation

I did a scripture meditation on the annunciation text found in Luke. I spent some time imagining the scene with the angel and Mary, then asked the Lord for some clarity on the subject and wrote down my thoughts. Two things occurred to me, both of them new thoughts to me. One is that Mary in her "troubling and wondering" probably had thoughts that were more practical in nature - Questions and problems with the fact that she would not be married when she conceived. She would have known the actual effects of this in her culture. I imagined her recalling a friend she had in a similar situation and the rejection she felt from those around her. What struck me was that Mary said "Let it be done just as you say." She totally accepted the time line the angel gave her knowing full well it would be her reputation on the line.

Secondly, I was struck by the Lord's mercy on her. The angel let her know of Elizabeth's expecting and told her, "Nothing is impossible with God." With this 'evidence', I think it was even more palatable for Mary to believe in God's acting in this way through her. Knowing her kinswoman, her situation, and loving her, she could share with her in the joy of motherhood. Leaving immediately to visit Elizabeth also gave Mary time to digest and accept even more the message of the angel. She was spared rejection for awhile and was able to rejoice and be glad in waiting with Elizabeth for the coming of their children. I have experienced this anticipation alongside friends and it is really a precious time. God blessed Mary beyond the announcement with at least some family around her to share in the amazing reality of his living on earth.

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