This Sunday is the fourth and final Sunday in Advent. It’s a day when we light the candle of Love and prepare for Love Incarnate to enter into our lives and world once again through the baby in the manger. For those of us who have a special place in our hearts for Mary, this is a Sunday for us! We’ll spend time in Luke’s Gospel with the encounter between the angel Gabriel and Mary. Called the “annunciation,” this is when Gabriel, directed by God, tells Mary that she will bear a child and that this child will be God’s Holy One. Mary not only receives this remarkable message from Gabriel but she consents to this partnership, offering herself as a “servant of the Lord.” I’ll mention the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth this Sunday. If you’d like to see a few of the mosaics depicting Mary, please see the link below.
This Sunday we’ll ponder how God works in ways that are often contrary to what we expect and to what we even believe is possible! I hope you’ll join us for online worship at 9:00. Please know that all are welcome to join the Wednesday Bible Study that reviews the scripture and sermon topic from the previous Sunday and reflects on the questions that are listed below. If you’re interested in joining us from 11:30 to 12:30 on Wednesdays, please notify the church office or Pastor Lori and we’ll send you the Zoom link. Drop-ins are welcome! Looking forward to being together on Sunday!
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. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Consider these questions:
- Have you ever experienced angels or messengers in your life? How was that experience? How did it change you?
- What are your thoughts about and experiences of Mary?
- Are there things that are feeling “impossible” in your here and now?
- How does God invite you to participate in God’s holy story?