Friday 25 March 2022

Bible Book:

'Nothing will be impossible with God.' (v. 37)

Luke 1:26-38 Friday 25 March 2022

Psalm 40


We break off from our journey through Galatians because today, in many churches, is the celebration of the Annunciation, the moment when Mary was greeted by the angel Gabriel and told that she would be the mother of Jesus. It’s a scene depicted in countless paintings and a moment that has inspired many hymns and carols. It is the origin of the well-known prayer, ‘Hail Mary’.

As I write this, the world is reeling from the violent assault on Ukraine. It seems as if the force of a military superpower is steam-rolling a smaller nation. It is difficult to find any signs of hope when all we see and hear brings to mind suffering and destruction. It’s a pattern repeated too often in the history of the world. Mary was living as an underprivileged resident in an occupied land, dominated by the power of the Roman empire. How hard it would be to imagine that anything good could come out of the situation. But into her life comes the news that God has singled her out for a unique and special role in the story of salvation. However unlikely it seems, nothing is impossible with God. Human lives and human history do not have to run on pre-determined tracks. Where the Holy Spirit is welcomed, radical and dramatic change can happen.

Initially, and understandably, Mary is fearful and questioning. After all, not all angelic messengers in Jewish stories brought good news (the book of Tobit in the Apocrypha is one example) and she will have to learn to trust what Gabriel has told her. Mary moves from fear to faith, pledging herself to be the servant of God. As Luke shaped his telling of Mary’s story, he probably had in mind the story of Hannah, one of the great women of faith in the Old Testament, the mother of the prophet Samuel with her own prophetic voice (I Samuel 2:1-10).

To Ponder:

  • What’s your picture of Mary? How do you see her part in the story of Jesus?
  • How can our prayers for the suffering of our world reflect a faith that ‘with God, nothing is impossible’?



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