An Advent Tapestry: How Will This Be?

The Annunciation by Henry Tanner, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Luke 1:34-35

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.
It must have been extraordinary for a young woman to be told by an angel she was to bear the Son of God.  She is troubled despite his reassurance, completely perplexed about what it all meant.  She asks because she needs to know: how will this happen?

And so we are puzzled when God intervenes in our lives in ways that are completely unexpected and sometimes downright inconvenient. We are touched in ways we have never been touched before, as His power “overshadows” us so deeply that we can never possibly be the same as the transformation takes place and new life begins to grow in us.

We are all virgins before God touches our lives, filling us with His spirit, even though we are sullied from the mire of the world.   What makes Mary different is her complete and total surrender to His will for her life:  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.”

Let it be for us as well.  Our hearts are made ready.

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