Over the next few weeks, Christians will, knowingly and less-knowingly, journey through Advent. I didn’t grow up acknowledging the liturgical season itself. I’m still fumbling through what it means to begin a new year at a time that is different from the generally accepted chronology of the fiscal year or the calendar year or the academic year.
Mentioning Advent–which is, for the Christian, the beginning of the year after Christ’s death, “AD”–is itself a slight departure toward another time. I’m not making all efforts to live by the liturgical calendar, but last year I wrote reflections for Lent for my church, so this year I’m putting this into my life as a personal assignment of the soul: to meditate in written form through Advent.
I’ll park in Luke’s gospel, particularly the latter part of chapter 1. Let’s see how it goes.
For this post, I’ll simply list the passage and for each week I’ll do the same, filling the spaces between the passages with a daily meditation.
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendent of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end. “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. “For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38, NIV)