Mary and the Angel

Annunciation of the Lord  |  Luke 1:26-38

Mary wasn’t surprised by the angel, just by what the angel said. She is blessed. She is going to carry a child, no man required. God, the other, was going to enter the world as a child. Her child.

Not to be surprised by the angel itself, Mary must have carried an expectation that God would break the boundaries of her world, that angels would open the doors of her mind. And Mary responded the only way that we can ever really respond to God.

Here I am.BlueWaterGlass 009

Sometimes the world rises, or sinks, to our expectations. Angels appear because we believe they will. We see God at work because we are watching, waiting for something to happen.

And when it happens, it is not what we thought. The angels tell us things that make no sense.

And there you are.

Behold I am the servant of the Lord; let it be as you say.

That behold is sometimes translated here I am. The Greek Ἰδοὺ idou “behold” substitutes for the Hebrew הִנְנִ hineni, a response to the calling of God: here I am. Abraham said it to God and to Isaac. Moses said it. Samuel said it. Isaiah said it.

And Mary says it. Here I am.

Strangely enough, this story is all about God saying the very same thing. Behold, here I am.

Mary didn’t expect her story to start as it did. She did not expect her son’s story to end as it did. It isn’t about God meeting our expectations. It is simply a matter of expecting God.

Here I am.