Today is the Feast of the Annunciation which we read about in the Gospel according to Luke:
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her. (Lk. 1:26-38).
Gnosticism, the heresy which posited that “the material world was an inferior and dark place, evil in its very existence, but that within this world could be found certain people who were meant for something else” (N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope at 90-91 (2008), is alive and well today. There are many in our day, including many Christians, who have the sense that this world is a nasty place and they can’t wait to get out of it. Today’s feast, and the reading which accompanies it, tells us exactly the opposite: the created order is indeed good; it matters, and God himself takes on flesh in the person of Jesus Christ to restore all of creation, and that includes you and me. Mary, a young woman, says “yes” to God’s view of the world, a world which God created and when he finished creating it, God said that it was good. Yes, good. The life stirring in Mary’s womb is God’s way of entering into his creation in a radical way, a way that puts God’s good housekeeping seal of approval on the created order. Salvation comes through the Incarnation, God made man, Jesus Christ, who was born of a woman.
Let us pray: Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord; that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought unto the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Nick @ Night on Wednesday, 26 March at Trinity at 6 PM. The Rev. Canon Glenice Robinson-Como from Christ Church Cathedral will be our speaker. She is a native Virginian and received her B.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University, her M.Div. from Perkins School of Theology at SMU and a Diploma of Theological Studies from the Seminary of the Southwest. She has worked as a Staff Ombudsman with the Houston-Galveston Area Agency on Aging for ten years, and in Contract Administration with the Department of Defense and with the Metropolitan Transit Authority in Southern California. She serves as Chaplain for the John Epps Chapter of United Black Episcopalians (UBE), is a member of the Commission on Black Ministry and a mentor for Kids Hope USA. Glenice is the author of a meditation in the book Yes!, Jesus Loves Me—31 Love Stories, by Kathy H. Culmer, and a prayer entitled, “The Least of These” in the book Lifting Women’s Voices, Prayers to Change the World, which addresses the themes of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Glenice is married to Paul L. Como and they have two children, Paulie and Dominique.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially, Pat, Karen, Patricia and Evelyn.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550