Sun, 8 December 2019
(Gn.3:9-15,20; Ps.98:1-4; Eph.1:3-6,11-12; Lk.1:26-38)
“He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before Him.”
And she is the sign of such preservation from evil.
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” And so the Virgin Mother is greeted by the power of the Most High. So she is called – “full of grace” is her title. She whom all generations will call blessed is revealed in this simple greeting as having “found favor with God.” And so, “the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God,” the Son of her who has been preserved by grace.
“In accord with the favor of His will, for the praise of the glory of His grace,” this has been done – she has been immaculately conceived, kept from the stain of sin. Not that she herself might be worshiped is the Virgin kept pure, but indeed she does “exist for the praise of His glory.” “My soul magnifies the Lord,” she has proclaimed… and it is so. She is but the sign that “His right hand has won victory for Him”; she is the instrument through which “the Lord has made His salvation known.”
How wonderfully this is expressed in her own words of consent to His call: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Here in this blessed obedience she sets in motion the cleansing of our sin of disobedience she shall bring by the fruit of her womb, a disobedience painfully recounted for us in our first reading – a disobedience which has caused us to hide from the face of God. But no longer will we be trapped in this hell. No more will we flee from the presence of Him who is our Creator, for by her humble obedience, and our own, in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we will have our nakedness covered over and become holy as He.
The Virgin is our Mother. She who has “no relations with a man” has brought about the salvation of all men “in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of His will.” And so the curse is removed from us. And so we might “sing joyfully to the Lord,” for “in the sight of the nations He has revealed His justice”; through this simple virgin He has brought us His grace. And now we may be pure as He.
Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.
Music By Carie Fortney; used by permission.
O LORD, the serpent comes to Eve, and we fall;
the angel comes to Mary, and we rise –
in selfish disobedience we do the devil’s work;
in selfless obedience we serve you…
O let us be your children!
YHWH, full of grace is the Mother of your Son; by your will you have made her pure that she might carry Him who is perfect into this world. We praise you for your goodness to her, for it means goodness to us – it means our salvation has come!
With every spiritual blessing in the heavens you have showered us by your grace and mercy, O LORD, by the love you offer us in Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord. And so we might stand holy and without blemish before you; and so we might be even as Mary our Mother, even as Jesus her Son. O let us be incorporated into your glory, dear God!
Our sin has been grievous. We have turned away from you. Our disobedience has wrought your just punishment, LORD. But salvation you bring to us this day by the word of the angel. And so we praise you for your faithfulness in saving us; and so we offer our lives with Mary your handmaiden – in our lives let your Word be accomplished.