The Annunciation – John William Waterhouse, 1914
As I was preparing for this season of Advent, it struck me how much movement there is in the initial chapters of the Gospel According To Luke. Gabriel coming to Mary, Mary going to Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary going to Bethlehem, the shepherds going to the manger, the child brought to the Temple in Jerusalem …
Life is full of journeys, of course. For some of us, they may be journeys of geography. But for all of us there are journeys of heart and mind and soul, of relationships and understandings and of faith. And so, accompanying the journeys that marked the incarnation of our Lord, these weeks of Advent we will explore the journeys of our lives.
We begin the journey of Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:26-38). There are a whole host of wonderful works of art that take up this scene, many communicating the stillness and strength of the moment when a young woman was confronted by a heavenly messenger … and she responded with such amazing trust and commitment ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word’.
What I love about the particular canvas above by Waterhouse is something else – Mary is not at her devotions inside but outside spooling wool, and her raised hand captures an ambiguity of the instant, as she struggles with whether to accept or dismiss this divine commission. We may not have the experience of an angel standing before us, but have we not all received the call of Christ? And the challenge of the moment, of the life?
If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join the worship of God. Certified child care is offered during the service and there is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street.
Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below, and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service. If you have any questions about forthcoming events and opportunities, please call the church office Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, 613-546-6316, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us next Sunday as we continue our journey to Christmas and light the second candle of Advent, exploring the journey of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth.