Today the Church of England celebrates the Annunciation:
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, favoured 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 favour 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.’
(Luke’s Gospel, chapter 1, verses 26-33, NRSV)
Mary’s pregnancy was certainly a test, for her – it tested her obedience, courage and faith. Then it did the same for Joseph, and ultimately for us all.
Of course it should have been celebrated yesterday but Lent is trumps just now, so it moved. Then again, one day either side is spot-on when it comes to predicting delivery dates, so we shouldn’t moan.
This glass is a section of the east window in the church of St, Mary Magdalene, Ickleton, Cambridgeshire.