On the feast of the Annunciation, we remember the events recorded in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her about God’s plan for her life. We most often associate this story with Christmas, so it may seem a bit strange to celebrate this event in the midst of Lent, just a few days before Holy Week. However, this feast always takes place on March 25 because it is exactly nine months before our celebration of the birth of Jesus.
This strange intermingling of biblical stories provides us with a helpful reminder that Jesus was born for us so that He could die for us. In the letter to the Hebrews the author writes, “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” (Heb 2:9).
When the angel Gabriel announces God’s plan to Mary he says, “He [Jesus] 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 father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32–33). This greatness and reign are tied to “the suffering of death,” so that through Him we might have life.
What an amazing God we serve, that He would love us in such a costly way!
Our response to this great gift of life is the obedience of faith that flows from a transformed heart (Romans 1:5 and 6:17). Jesus now reigns from heaven, seated at the right hand of God. Like Mary let us say, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
Lord Jesus Christ, though you were in the form of God, you did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, rather you humbled yourself, taking the form of a servant and being born in the likeness of men. Help us to follow in your pattern of humility and obedience. Amen.
The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas (DMin Student)
Director of Communications and Whitchurch Publishing
Trinity School for Ministry