Recently, in the Church calendar, we were reminded of the annunciation. The angel Gabriel enters into the world to declare something that should cause our breath to be taken from us.
God was entering the earth. He would be called Jesus; he would be the Son of the Most High God. He would establish a kingdom that would not end.
Many women of Mary’s age and era wanted to be chosen to bear the Messiah, but Mary was visited. An angel. A big, Gabriel angel found her and spoke. This was a day of awe in heaven and on earth. I don’t know what it might have looked like as angels peeped over the edge of the heavens to see what God was doing, but I can imagine. Gabriel was on assignment. It had to be really BIG!
God was becoming a man. Did it rock the heavens when they saw that God Almighty, whom they worshiped in holy awe, choose in Christ to become a man to lead mankind into a restored relationship with himself? Did the angels scratch their halos? Did they gather to ponder this wonder?
I love the picture of the annunciation—for in that announcement there was great promise. Christ would be conceived in Mary—in some ways as a picture of him being formed in us. The Holy Spirit conceives Christ in her. The Holy Spirit hovers over her—according to Luke 1.
In another way, the Holy Spirit hovers over us and conceives God in us—places Christ in us. At that moment, we are born again. I don’t know the exact process, even though I’ve heard what people THINK it is. Whatever it is, it is supernatural. Beautiful. He places himself in us so that we can be in him.
But it all began with humility—a humility that we can’t comprehend. A willingness to suffer the daily difficult distance between mankind and God—stubbed toes, splinters, and bloody wounds—and ultimately the horrendous cross. God wanted so much for us. He wanted us to experience union with himself—and there was no other way.
The Annunciation says, “Hold on! I’m coming. I’m here to change you from the inside out by my holy presence growing in you. I’m coming as God among men so that I might leave my children to be lights in the world. I leave them behind to glorify me in the wake of my sacrifice.
Who acts like that? Only our God!
Be born in me, O Lord. Be born in us.