Dear Friends: December 12, 2018
The Annunciation, recorded in Luke 1:26-38, is a key event in the story of Jesus’ birth. The word “Annunciation” is a special form of the word “announcement”. It refers to that holy moment when the angel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive in her womb and bear a son, the Christ child, whom she would name Jesus.
I’d like to share with you a story from when I first learned to ski, back in the 1980’s when we lived near the Rocky Mountains in Canada; and relate it to this Bible passage. Clif Berg (what a great name for a skier!), a member of our congregation, was patiently helping me acquire the skills I needed to survive and enjoy the sport. Once, after a successful run down a nice slope, I said to Clif, “I’m gaining confidence – but I admit I still have plenty of nervous moments!” With a big grin he answered me, “Well, if there were no thrill in it, what would be the point?” Later that same day, he added, “Do you know, I’m never more relaxed and restful than when I’m on the slopes, because I’m so focused on survival that the stresses and strains of work and responsibility disappear entirely!”
That’s a pretty remarkable combination in one activity: thrill and rest, adventure and peace. That was Mary’s experience in being called by God. It was adventure: “The power of the Most High will overshadow you,” the angel said; and it was peace: “Let it be with me according to your word,” she answered. That’s the gift God gives us all when He calls us to serve him: a life of adventure, in which His power overshadows us; and a life of peace and rest, knowing He is in charge and His will is done, and that we can safely submit to it.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Carl L.M. Rasmussen