“For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:37-38
I think it was last year when Pr. Borghardt blew my mind with the greek of the Annunciation account. “pnma” (thats ‘RAY-ma’ my blog doesn’t like Greek letters apprently) means ‘things spoken’ or ‘word.’ And it’s only translated as that once in the passage above even though it appears twice. We like to use that first verse as a nice catch phrase and put it on T-shirts. Hey we can win this basketball tournament because nothing is impossible with God.
But this is so much greater than that! So much better than anything we could possibly comprehend! No pnma are impossible with God. No Words! No words are impossible with God. Even Mary’s barren relative Elizabeth has conceived a son. The angel’s word to Zechariah saying that Elizabeth would bear him a son is not impossible. Gabriel’s word, “The Lord is with you!” and “behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” Not even those words are impossible with God.
Gabriel puts forth the word of God. Mary responds with “let it be to me according to your word.” She receives the messengers word as God’s word. (You’re given messengers, who deliver God’s word to you, too! You call them Pastor.) Mary puts forth Gabriel’s word who is pointing to the incarnate Word.
This past Sunday something really cool happened. March 25th fell on Judica Sunday. Judica is when passion tide begins and some really crazy things happen in the liturgy historically. The crosses and other images are veiled and the gloria is silenced.
We veil the crucifix because the it is our sign of triumph and we aren’t worthy to look upon it. We aren’t worth dying for. It also happens because of the last verse in the traditional Judica Gospel reading. Jesus says, before Abraham was, I AM. He claims to be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He says he is the one true God. And for it the people pick up stones to stone him right there on the spot. But Jesus hides himself so that he dies on his own terms, willingly giving up his life for you.
The gloria is set aside for Passion tide because Jesus sets aside His glory to die. But by dying for you he is also glorified.
Now, Judica Sunday fell on March 25th this year. The Annunciation! And there are all these liturgical rules to follow about which takes precedence. But the Gospel is always more. Why not observe both? You have this seeming conflict between the two. Jesus hiding himself in the Judica Gospel reading and God Incarnate being revealed to Mary at the Annunciation. But they are both there to point to the same thing. That Jesus Christ the incarnate Son of God has come to take all sin upon Himself and die for you! He comes in the flesh at the Annunciation and He hides himself in John 8 so that he can die in His hour for the sins of the world and for you.
Oh yeah, Pr. Borghardt talked about the Annunciation in this week’s video check it out: