Advent Journal: December 3rd

Luke 1:26-38

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”[b] 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 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. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”[c] 35 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[d] will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 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. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 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.

The painting above is called "The Annunciation" (by Henry Ossawa Tanner). It is a gorgeous depiction of this remarkable story from scripture about the angel announcing to Mary that she will give birth to a holy child. Take a few minutes to look closely at the image. What do you see? 

I see someone who is very young. I see a mix of fear, devotion, and humility. I see someone who is willing to listen. I see someone who is wary, yet able to believe. I see a brightness that is both clearly present, yet difficult to make out. A blur of piercing, yet inviting light. 

And in the scripture passage, we hear that Mary's response to God is to say "Here am I, the servant of the Lord." Mary's response invites each one of us on this third day of Advent to consider how willing we are to see our lives in terms of God's plan. After all, as people who have heard the story, we are called to serve. May the image and words of Mary guide our actions.