Monday, March 26, 2007

Mary said "Yes"

March 25 is the day that we traditionally commemorate "The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary." Makes sense, doesn't it? Nine months from that date is Christmas. Of course, we don't know for sure the exact dates of Jesus' conception and birth, but celebrate them we must, and Christian tradition has chosen the dates of celebration for us.

This year March 25 fell on Sunday, so the Annunciation commemoration was moved to Monday, March 26. That's because every Sunday is a feast of our Lord Jesus Christ, and nothing trumps Jesus' feasts -- not even one for his Mother.

In Nazareth, the tradition is that the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary as she was drawing water from a well. "Mary's well" has been preserved and is now inside a Greek Orthodox Church. It is a fresh spring that comes out of the rock, and weary pilgrims can fill their water bottles from a spout through the modern marvels of engineering. No doubt Jesus drank out of that very well as he was growing up.

Inside the Church, pilgrims can meditate on Mary's response to the Angel Gabriel, the messenger of God. And they must behave in a respectful manner. If you sit down and cross your legs - man or woman - a priest or other official will tap you on the shoulder and tell you to put both feet on the floor.

Think for a moment about how Gabriel, and God, and the entire universe held their collective breath while this young teenage girl made up her mind.
Every day at Evening Prayer, we sing the Magnificat -- The Song of Mary as we celebrate her "Yes" to God:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel,
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Luke 1:46-55

Pastor Linda
The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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