First Sunday of Advent 2014

HeQi_Annunciation

Note: I was away on the first Sunday of Advent. That is why I post quite late in the Advent time. Apologies. Again, thanks for this to my friend Mark Pierson, from World Vision New Zealand.

ANNUNCIATION  (Announcement)  [Art by He Qi. http://www.heqiart.com]

Luke 1:26-38 (The Message)
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her: “Good morning! You’re beautiful with God’s beauty, beautiful inside and out! God be with you.”

She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: you will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus. He will be great, be called ‘Son of the Highest’. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David; he will rule Jacob’s house forever – no end, ever, to his kingdom.”

Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you; therefore, the child you bring to birth will be called Holy, Son of God.”

“And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Yes, I see it all now….” Then the angel left her.

Advent: a waiting place
Mary was waiting to get married.
Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, had been waiting to get pregnant, but she was well past child-bearing age. She had waited a long time.

Advent is the discipline of waiting.
Like Mary and Elizabeth we also are waiting for something… a circumstance to change; a relationship to heal; a situation to end, or begin.

Reflection
What are you waiting for at the moment? How have you been waiting?
Talk with God about this.

Ritual
Each time you light your first candle repeat Mary’s phrase, “But how…?” as your prayer.
Wait and listen for God’s response.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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