Luke 1 26 – 38
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: I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say”.
Then the angel left her.
Romantically, the idea of spiritual preparation is often compared to going into battle, becoming one of God’s warriors – onward Christian soldiers. But it is much more like pregnancy – what we are preparing for is a lifelong commitment; a relationship that will change; will change us; that will never be without belonging; that will never be without love.
In Advent even the Church changes; changes from being a mother to being a midwife – calls us in to reflect – nurses us towards our new beginning – moving our focus from ourselves to the One who is coming – from the Jesus we think we think is only ours – to the Christ who holds us all.
We are invited to share the last few days as Mary spent them; no fait accompli – but making ready, being ready; wondering and waiting; laying awake at night feeling uncertain and unsettled; anxiously journeying towards an event that would change her life; that would change the life of the world –the birth of the One who is the Light of the World.