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The Annunciation

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The Annunciation

Luke’s account of the Annunciation ends abruptly with the sentence ‘and the angel left her’.  What then?  Presumably, Mary sat down and took a little time to consider all that Gabriel had told her.  How did she feel?  She was suddenly facing a very different future from whatever she’d previously imagined.  And that new future?  She couldn’t have imagined even roughly how her life would unfold now.

There are times when we step into the unknown in life: marrying, moving house, changing  job, becoming parents. When we stand at the beginning of a road in life, like Mary did when the angel left her, we know exactly what and who we must leave behind us.  We know what it is we’ll be giving up and losing.  However, we don’t know about the new opportunities we will have.  We don’t know who we’ll meet, what we’ll do, what we’ll gain and how we’ll grow.
Some changes in direction are sought and eagerly anticipated.  Others… less so. Sometimes we can think too much about things; we can weigh up the pros and cons until we become quite fearful.  Fearful because we forget that – although we may be without friends initially – we are never alone because we are never without God.  Mary must have been looking at a lonely future: at best (so it seemed) Joseph would  break off their engagement.  There was the possibility that she would be shunned by so many – but she’d had Gabriel’s assurance that  ‘The Lord is with you… you have won God’s favour’. I imagine she also knew these words of Jeremiah’s, which serve us well when our future is, at best, unclear:

For I know well the plans I have made for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe!  Plans to give you a future full of hope.  When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you.  When you look for me, you will find me.  When you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the Lord.

Jeremiah 29:11-14

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