Lady Day March 25th

THE ANNUNCIATION OF OUR LORD TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

   March 25th is known as Lady Day, and traditionally Mothers’ Union groups up and down the land would meet for special Lady Day services. This year they cannot so a few thoughts for this Red Letter day.

  It can feel strange to hear at this time of year as we head for Easter and the cross: strange to hear about the angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she is to be with child of the Holy Spirit and that that child will be Saviour, God with us (Emmanuel). How are you hearing prayers and Bible readings at this time when we are seriously out of our comfort Zone? Differently?

 

   Here is the special prayer for today which links the two events:

We beseech you, O Lord, pour your grace into our hearts,

that as we have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel,

so by his cross and passion we may be brought to the glory of his resurrection;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen

 

Have a read of this familiar passage: Luke 1:26-38:

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 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. 36 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. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.”

Mary was the first follower of Jesus. What was it like for her to hear Gabriel’s message? How was it for her as her Son became famous but also hated by the authorities? How was it for her to be there at his death but also at his resurrection? Mary was an ordinary human being like you and like me. What would she say to us today?