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 descendant 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.” (Luke 1:26-28 NIV)
Today is the Advent Sunday of Joy. This marks a turing point in our Advent journey. We turn from solemn waiting and begin to celebrate in joy.
It is quite appropriate that at St. Andrew’s, Brampton we were lead in worship by the children of our church this morning. Their pageant is always full of sweet and unexpected moments. Joy was a living, breathing, thriving thing as we worshipped.
In terms of my Advent blog journey, I will now turn from the prophecies foretelling the birth of Jesus and instead walk through the birth narrative. The passage above is by no means the start of the story, but it is where I have chosen to begin.
There is something marvelous about this scene – the Angel appearing in a lowly bedroom in the little village of Nazareth. The ordinary girl, Mary, chosen to carry the Christ child.
She couldn’t have known the joy that the Angel’s words would bring into this world. The joy of salvation.
She also couldn’t have known how complicated that joy would be. How it would be tinged with pain and sacrifice. How death would seem to have won. What would happen on the third day.
But we do know, and so we celebrate this beautiful, complicated, marvelous joy as we await the birth of Jesus.