December 6, 2019
Scripture: Luke 1:26-30
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Thought for the Day: This is, by my standard, one of the great human – angel encounters. There are some really surprising words found in this part of the birth narrative. It says that Mary was “perplexed” by this initial meeting, but the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid…” It’s as if that was Gabriel’s go-to line. Angels are so used to people being frightened that he simply assumed Mary to be afraid, but Mary was perplexed (or some translate it as troubled). This might have been the writer simply not wishing to repeat the same word – afraid, but I tend to think it was specifically chosen. Mary will receive one of the single most shocking and demanding invitations, and her response is not to ask for a few weeks to think about it or to ask if it includes dental coverage or even to just flat out decline. Instead, Mary will respond (in vs. 38) with the words, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” This is not your usual Biblical character. This is not Moses who had a half dozen excuses and a few complaints. Mary is not like the Kings of old whose faithfulness was eased by their great wealth. Mary responded differently, and maybe that’s the reason she was chosen above all others. May we look to her as one who shows unwavering trust and conviction.
Prayer: Whatever she had, whatever made her the amazing example of faith, I wish to find it or cultivate it within myself. Help me, O Lord whose messenger put before Mary one of the great invitations. Amen.