Thursday, March 25, 2010
The Annunciation of Our Lord: A Devotional Commentary
The humble virgin Mary is the instrument through which God chose to bring about all of the promises of the Old Testament. She is the one who is given a calling that was never given to any man or any other woman. She is given the gift of the Messiah to nurture and protect. Just as the burning bush was filled with fire but was not consumed, the virgin Mary would be filled with the infinite God but miraculously was not consumed. Just as the Holy Spirit overshadowed the ark of the covenant, the Holy Spirit overshadowed the blessed virgin Mary. In the Old Testament the ark of the covenant was the dwelling place of God. In an even more miraculous way Mary became the dwelling place of God. In the book of Revelation the imagery of Mary and the church are used interchangeably. She is delivered from the dragon. Through the calling that God gave her to be the God-bearer she is both the mother of God's Son and the mother of God's sons.
The conception of Jesus came through the power of God's Word. Mary heard the Word from the angel in her ear and conceived Jesus. In a similar way the Word of God begets faith in the heart of the hearer. The Word of God begets faith in you.
Mary is an example of what faith looks like. Mary had every reason to be afraid. Who would believe her? Would you believe someone who claimed that God got them pregnant? If you were betrothed to someone who claimed that God got them pregnant would you want to marry her? But Mary responds with the words of faith. "Behold the slave of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your saying." She has every reason to doubt and to worry. If something like this happened to you, you might think that God hated you. Why would he put you through this misery? But even though Mary did not understand God's plan, she trusted His Word. Mary received the greatest blessing given to any human being through what looked like a curse by most standards.
But ultimately regardless of how much can be learned about what it means to live a life of faith from the example of Mary, this isn't all about her. Ultimately, this is all about Jesus. Mary is only who and what she is because of the grace of God. Mary would not be honored as the mother of God if God was not in her womb. The incarnate God is the real miracle that Mary was blessed to receive. He came to establish an everlasting kingdom but the kingdom would not look like anything anyone expected it to look like. And it is an everlasting kingdom. His coronation would take place with a crown of thorns pushed into His bloody head and He would reign by being lifted upon upon a cross. Mary called herself the slave of God. But the God-man Jesus came as your slave. As your slave he bore the sins that were yours to pay for. He paid for all of them.
Posted by Chuck Wiese at 12:01 AM