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Shelford Hill

The Annunciation

On the 25th of March

The Collect

Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Scripture

Luke 1:26–38

[26] In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, [27] to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. [28] And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” [29] But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. [30] And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. [31] And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. [32] He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, [33] and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

[34] And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

[35] And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. [36] And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. [37] For nothing will be impossible with God.” [38] And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Other texts

Isaiah 7:10-14; Psalm 45; Psalm 40:5-10; Hebrews 10:4-10

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Reflection (26 March 2022)

We celebrate the Annunciation nine months before Christmas Day, to reflect the nine months of gestation, in which Jesus was grown and nurtured in the womb of the Virgin Mary.

The Annunciation is, through the announcement of the Incarnation, also the announcement of the new creation. Notice, in verse 35, that the language appears to reflect Genesis 1:2 ("And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."). Incarnation is not just the entrance of Jesus as flesh into this world, but also, through this entrance, the beginning of the new creation. This is not yet accomplished, although announced, until the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, the "firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" (1 Corinthians 15:20), for it is then that he is confirmed as the King and granted to sit at the right hand of the Father.

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