Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Luke 1:26-38 describes the conception of Jesus. The evangelist has already set the stage by describing the miraculous pregnancy of Elizabeth, a relative of Mary. Elizabeth had first conceived at an old age. Now an angel comes to Mary and tells her about the son she will bear.
The angelic description makes perfect sense. There will be a Messiah. His name will mean “God saves.” He will be in the lineage of David and will be the king of God’s people. All of this sounds fine and good. But, of course, Mary knows where babies come from. How is this going to happen? As Mary receives God’s word and believes it, she will have a child. Her chances of pregnancy were even more remote than Elizabeth’s. But, in accord with God’s promise, she would conceive and bear a child, who would be the Messiah.
The news of the Incarnation is entirely mind-boggling. First you have a virgin who conceives. The one born is the Messiah. We find out later that he is not broken by a sinful nature like the rest of the world. He alone will be able to rescue humanity from sin and death. This is great news indeed. What is Mary’s response? May it be according to God’s will. May that also be our response to divine intervention in this world.
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