The Feast of the Annunciation
By Christin Ditchfield Lazo
A Reading from the Gospel of Luke 1:46-55 (Canticle 15)
46 And Mary said,
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
47my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
48for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
49the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
50He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
51He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
52He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
53He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54He has come to the help of his servant Israel,
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
55The promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”
The dictionary defines a promise as “a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen.” When we promise, we “pledge to do, to bring about, or to provide” something.
With the best of intentions, you and I make promises all the time — promises to God, to ourselves, to others. Promises we sometimes forget. Promises we break. Promises that, no matter how hard we try, we just can’t fulfill — just as others make promises to us that they forget or break or can’t fulfill.
It can be disheartening even to think about — our human frailty, our weakness, our inability to live up to our own and others’ expectations, even the expectations that we ourselves have created.
But today we celebrate that we are deeply loved and greatly cherished by a God who always keeps his word, who never makes a promise he can’t (or won’t) keep. Who never forgets to follow through.
From the beginning, when Adam and Eve first fell from grace, God promised to send the world a savior — his one and only Son — who would make forgiveness and reconciliation possible, one who would redeem and restore.
Thousands of years later, the angel Gabriel would appear to Mary to announce that the time had come for the fulfillment of this promise. In response, Mary burst forth with one of the most beautiful psalms (or songs of praise) in all of Scripture, “the Magnificat” — rejoicing in God’s faithfulness, his great power, mercy, and love.
It’s this promise that took Jesus to the cross… and the resurrection. We see the fulfillment of this promise still being worked out today — in the world and in our own hearts and lives — and with grateful hearts, we give thanks that God always finishes what he starts.
Christin Ditchfield Lazo, M.A. (Bible and Theology), is a best-selling author, conference speaker, and syndicated radio host, passionate about calling believers to a deeper life of faith.
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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer
Today we pray for:
The Diocese of Bangor (The Church in Wales)
Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Irving, Texas