Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Annunciation and Magnificat (Section 3b of the Nameless Luke Advent Thingee)

A Wonderful Life

When you go to a greeting card store, it isn’t uncommon to see some stationery with a naked, chubby baby with wings sprouting out of their backs. Angels. Apart from the freakish nature of having wings growing out of someone’s back, they don’t elicit much awe. They’re cute. Cuddly. In today’s passage, Gabriel announces to Mary that she’ll give birth to the Messiah. She doesn’t say, “Aaaawww, how cute!” when she sees the angel. She’s afraid. God’s messengers are powerful and often say, immediately after their arrival, “Do not fear.” Today’s no exception.

Read 1.26-33

What a message! What a promise! Mary will give birth to Messiah, the Hope of Israel! The angel enumerates some general, but wonderful, blessings in Mary’s life. She has found favor. She will have a son – it is a great cultural blessing to have a son. This son will be great, bringing great honor on the family. He will be called God’s own Son! He will be a king that restores the glory of the Davidic Kingdom. Her life is flooded with blessing. Beyond these, she has a wonderful man to whom she is betrothed to be married.

On Monday we’ll see that there’s a dark side to blessings, but for now it is enough to think about God’s favor on Mary’s life. What about you? How has God blessed you? We’ll think about the challenges of blessings soon enough, but what are the promises ahead and the promises you’ve experienced that reveal the ways God has given you a wonderful life.

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