This coming Friday, the church celebrates a feast known as the Annunciation to Mary - the angel’s message that she would conceive and bear a son who is to be named Jesus (that day is March 25th, nine months to Christmas!)
I have experienced some of the interesting and traumatic moments in pregnancy from the perspective of an expectant father and grandfather! But I can only imagine the feeling of a child growing within. One sees in a pregnant woman the radiance of impending motherhood, yet there is often an unstated, perhaps sub conscious, fear or trepidation, at what is coming.
Mary’s pregnancy was probably no different and we know well the circumstances in which it happened. It starts with the angel Gabriel saying "Greetings you who are highly favoured. The Lord is with you." Sounds innocent and pleasant enough. But we are told Mary was perplexed by it. The language actually suggests those words and the angel’s appearance scared her. The young (probably teenage) Mary likely had enough intuitive wisdom to understand that being “highly favoured” by God isn't necessarily a bed of roses. Indeed, she would soon find it would not only produce much joy, it would also bring her into contact with pain and loss. Think of the events we will commemorate in just a few weeks as we enter Holy Week. Joy mixed with trepidation. Mary seemed to know that being favoured by God, while a wonderful thing, usually turns your life inside out, or upside down.
When confronted by the scary and seemingly impossible details of God’s plan for her, Mary understands that her faithful response is to not try to resist it. “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” is her answer - consenting to participate in and cooperate with God making the impossible possible, as God’s very tangible presence was growing in her womb.
But as with all of the gospel narratives, it is so much more than what happened in those days long ago. As we remember once again the story of the Annunciation to Mary, we must ask ourselves about our own annunciation – because we too are favoured ones in the sight of God, to whom is announced the plans of God in and through our own lives. As Mary responded with trepidation so we may too, knowing that being favoured by God means being invited down paths we may not choose for ourselves, but paths which lead to living in the grace of God. As we let go and trust, God’s will is born into the world through us and God’s purposes are accomplished.
So, here are a few questions to ponder. Can you identify with Mary’s perplexity at being told she was favoured by God? Do you ever feel like avoiding the favour of God lest it bring discomfort and inconvenience? Is it possible God has an intention for you which is yet to be conceived? Most importantly can you, like Mary, say “Let it be with me according to your word?”
With every blessing,
Malcolm K has officially taken over the Envelope Secretary position from Barb W. St. Mary’s appreciates and thanks Barb for all the years in this ministry. Malcolm’s new title is Givings Recorder. If you have any questions or concerns about your donation, please contact him.
& simple treats are BACK on April 10!
Pat N is coordinating the new roster. Please sign the sheet in the hall on the passthrough this Sunday if you can help.
NEW DISHWASHER!! Many thanks to Don N for so much diligent research, getting quotes, meeting with suppliers, corresponding with Council then arranging the installation of a brand-spanking-new one. Check it out on Sunday! No more rinsing dishes - WOOHOO!!
Rev. Alan & Diana are planning a simple meal (pita bread, humus, grapes, dates etc.) to precede our Maundy Thursday service. Volunteers are needed to help set up and serve the meal. Please email the office if you can help. Thank you! The Rt. Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee will be in attendance.
April 7th Larry T
April 9th Ann G W
April 13th Patti K
April 17th Graham F and Michael Luis Q
April 22nd Don N
April 27th Sherilene Q
April 20th Don & Pat N
April 30th Graham F & Lynn D
YOUR APRIL READINGS
April 3 - Lent 5
April 10 - Palm Sunday
Luke 19:28-40 (beginning of service)
April 17 - Easter Sunday
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
April 24 - 2nd Sunday of Easter