Lectionary: 4th Sunday of Advent
Sermon text: Luke 1:26-38
Excerpt: Having a baby is scary. I remember very vividly all the positive pregnancy tests we ever had. There were actually three. Our first one didn’t fully take. And then when the pregnancy test showed positive with Rebekah, we were scared because the first one hadn’t taken. And then when the pregnancy test showed positive with Jessie, we were scared because we had had Rebekah. Fear is a healthy reaction not only to the birth of children but of anything having to do with them. They are so tiny and fragile, and even when they get big, there are so many things you know could go wrong. But they don’t.
So in and of itself, being told you’re going to have a baby is reason for a great deal of terror and awe, I think. But in our case, we had this nice little stick, and then we had Dr. Kennedy at Brookwood, and it was all fine. Now I’m sure Dr. Kennedy can be quite fierce, but I’m not afraid of her.
Gabriel I would be afraid of.
I wonder where he found Mary. Because, you know, a fourteen-year-old girl in Nazareth can’t have that much alone time. It’s not like she has a room of her own. Maybe there’s some chore that she’s on where she’s by herself. And Gabriel appears.
There’s only two angels named in the Bible, Gabriel and Michael. This is one of them. And we know every single time an angel appears in the Bible, the normal human response is fear. Every single time you see an angel appear in the Bible, either the next words out of the human’s mouth or the first or second line out of the angel’s mouth has to do with fear. Gabriel appears and says, “Hi, Mary, most blessed of all women!” And Mary goes, “What?”