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Surprise!

Today the church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation- exactly 9 months before it celebrates Christmas Day.
Mary was presented with a situation so surprising she could never have dreamed it up. And with no “road map” for the days ahead. Would Joseph publicly reject her? Would she be stoned to death or shunned? After all that was the treatment under the law for women who were believed to have “strayed”.
Or would she, as the angel promised, give birth to the King of Kings? And, if that happened, would that make her powerful? Famous? Revered?
As things turned out, neither of those two extremes actually played out during her lifetime- although she has been widely and rightly revered for many centuries.

What she did, on the day when she was surprised by that heavenly news, was simply to say “Yes” to whatever God might send.
“Then Mary said ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word’ ”(Luke 1 38)
And she became the physical bearer of God’s good news into a broken world.

Today, as we are confronted by the unexpected, and the potentially frightening, let us also say “Yes” to whatever God might send. Like Mary, we have no “road map” for the days ahead. Things probably won’t turn out the way we expect them to. We probably can’t imagine how they will turn out. But let us be unafraid- because we know that God is love, and that God’s love and life flows through each one of us, always. And let us, like Mary, be the physical bearers of God’s good news to a frightened world, rejoicing, like here, in the greatness of the one who calls us:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour” (Luke 1.47)

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