On the way to this Sunday’s sermon, I’ve been reading the story of the “annunciation” or when the angle Gabriel told this teenager, getting ready to be married, that she would give birth to Jesus. (It's found, by the way, in the first chapter of the gospel of Luke.)
Here are a few notes along the way…
It seems to me that the key phrase is Mary’s line, “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Which could also be paraphrased (as it has been by Eugene Peterson), “Let it be with me just as you say.” In other words, God, yes to whatever You have for me. What amazes me is that this teenager—commentators talk about a 15 or 16 year old—has maturity beyond her years. (Speaking of commentators, in his well-worn Bible, William Barclay commented that our prayer is often “Thy will be changed” instead of “Thy will be done.")
|Joan Bohlig, The Annunciation (at Bidwell Pres in March)|
In the piece by Joan Bohlig that depicts Mary's hearing the angel Gabriel, I like the figure of Mary pointing to herself. Something like “Me, are you sure?” I also note the way the entire cosmos is curved with the angle, as if the cosmos is part of this decision for Mary.
So here’s the question for us: What happens when God interrupts our plans and has something new for us? Does God’s yes meet our yes?