Monday, March 26, 2012

The Annunciation

The Song of Mary
The Magnificat

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever. Luke 1:46-55

When I was a young child of 12 I had a very serious abdominal surgery which removed my right ovary along with an enormous tumor and some re-sectioning of intestines was part of the repairs that needed to be done. I was told at the time I might not ever be able to have children. I loved kids, and was heartbroken that having a family might never happen to me. In 1978, on this very day, a cold and wet Easter in Baltimore, our daughter Emily was born. An incredibly beautiful, perfect new life arriving the holiest day of the year. I felt as if God was whispering in my ear," see here, just like Mary so many years ago, you would understand and know the love of God within in you and around you. And you would see and know love by the miracles in your life, beginning with this precious one." Like Mary, I just couldn't help but weep for joy and sing at the top of my lungs.

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation (transferred) when Mary hears from the angels of her role in the transformation of the world. She is to be a mother and carry the Savoir of the world. She was scared, and teary and couldn't help but sing. So for all of those of us today who feel like the burden we must bear is too big and too scary, remember that God only puts those burdens of those capable of bearing them. And with those burdens come incredible blessing upon blessing, miracle upon miracle, and glimpses of God's enormous love that will see us through.

May we rejoice with Mary today. Let's never be afraid to admit to out fear, never stop saying yes to God, and may we sing at the top of our lungs because we must, through tears and smiles alike. And Happy Birthday Emily!

b>The Collect

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.

1 comment:

Lew said...

This has always been one of my favorite images of the Annunciation.... Mary looks properly frightened and apprehensive yet trusting. Gabriel is a pillar of fire. Who can look on the face of an angel and live? I love what Frederich Buechner says about the Annunciation:

"She struck the angel Gabriel as hardly old enough to have a child at all, let alone this child, but he'd been entrusted with a message to give her, and he gave it. He told her what the child was to be named, and who he was to be, and something about the mystery that was to come upon her. "You mustn't be afraid, Mary," he said.

As he said it, he only hoped she wouldn't notice that beneath the great, golden wings he himself was trembling with fear to think that the whole future of creation hung now on the answer of a girl."