On March 25, we celebrate the annunciation–the announcement to Mary that she would become the mother of God. We don’t know exactly when this would’ve taken place, but we choose March 25 because it is exactly 9 months from that date until December 25–Christmas.
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
This passage, often read as part of the Christmas narrative, shows us several things. First, that although God often works through natural processes, in some instances, He shows that He’s in charge. Mary was a virgin, and yet, through miraculous means, she would become a mother. Second, I love Luther’s comments on this passage. He says two miracles are present: 1) that God chose to dwell with us in bodily form as the son of Mary, and 2) that Mary believed.
You may not realize that the famous Beatles’ song hearkens back to the annunciation. “Let it be” echoes Mary’s words to the angel, “May it be to me as you have said,” showing her willing acceptance of God’s plan for her life. In the song, the “Mother Mary” is “speaking words of wisdom: let it be.”
In the first image above, you can see the stained glass window over the altar at Redeemer. Here is Mary before the angel. Although I cannot see any reference to it in this image, this event is often depicted in art with Mary in blue and a white lily, as shown below. The lily represents Mary’s purity.
If you google annunciation and look at the images, you can see scads of them, Renaissance images, icons, more moderns versions. This one in typical Rosetti style shows a fragile, vulnerable, young woman. Not so sure she was a ginger, but who knows.
I like different aspects of all of them. The one directly above shows the angel’s feet in flames–he’s a little dangerous, not chubby little harmless cherub.
Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Well, these certainly vanished! Actually, since they were part of my care packages to my niece and nephews, they didn’t go into my stomach this time–which is certainly a good thing. They are delicious, though, and if you haven’t had a good homemade oatmeal raisin cookie, this recipe is one to try (p. 102-103).
It appears some of the recipe is missing; however, after it reads: “Add eggs and vanilla and mix well” just keep adding stuff until all of the ingredients are combined and ready to either be made into bar cookies or dropped individually onto cookie sheets.
It’s official: my hand mixer died. The mis-measuring of the chocolate crinkles Great sadness.