“The promise of his Glory yet to be”
i’ll begin with the sonnet the title comes from that says it far better than I can
We see so little, stayed on surfaces,
We calculate the outsides of all things,
Preoccupied with our own purposes
We miss the shimmer of the angels’ wings,
They coruscate around us in their joy
A swirl of wheels and eyes and wings unfurled,
They guard the good we purpose to destroy,
A hidden blaze of glory in God’s world.
But on this day a young girl stopped to see
With open eyes and heart. She heard the voice;
The promise of His glory yet to be,
As time stood still for her to make a choice;
Gabriel knelt and not a feather stirred,
The Word himself was waiting on her word
The glory of the Annunciation is that it is the herald of the Incarnation.
God touching earth, becoming human.
It is the beginning of Word Become Flesh; the start of a journey that continues today.
It’s a glory that starts so small and so fragile;
The entrusting of God himself to human fragility at its most vulnerable
God becoming humanity.
God in all his fullness, hidden and clothed in frail human flesh, an unborn child, utterly dependent and yet utterly omnipotent.
All our humanity, our hopes, our life, wrapped in such an unlikely way.
Our joys our futures, our salvation, our restoration, clothed in flesh & blood, growing unseen.
and all this future was hidden too – unseen, undreamed of; except by the prophets –and they even had not envisaged how God would “all for our sakes become so poor”. So completely vulnerably, preciously human.
The glory of the Annunciation is its beginning of Incarnation, GOd with us, living & working in & among us.
– because the lesson of the Annunciation is that we cannot tell; we cannot imagine what God will do,
we see, as the poem says, only the outside, only such a little.
When we say Yes to God –we cannot begin to imagine what he can do with that Yes
We cannot tell what the promise of the Glory yet to be will mean for us, for anyone, ofr those yet unborn, for those we will never meet.
Like Mary our yes comes freely – our surrender to God may take longer than hers, but he does not push, he waits;
Heaven & earth stand still & wait for our yes, as they did for Mary’s.
Freely given, nonetheless Mary’s Yes brought with it
– Ostracism bewilderment and wonder – (Nativity)
-Anger and worry & frustration ( lost at the temple)
-mixed feelings and confusion (Mother & bros rejected)
-Pain and grief beyond bearing (crucifixion)
And joy unimagined (Resurrection)
In saying yes to God our life too may take us down roads we never thought we’d travel, bring us joy and pain both in equal measure;
but we have the Word made flesh walking with us, and in us.
Because in our Yeses we too are called to be Christ-Bearers –
Through our yes we become Pregnant with possibility
We are bearers of him to our broken world
Bearers of his love in and through the pain
Bearers of his joy in the celebrations,
The Word waited on Mary’s yes,
He waits too on ours, for our availability and ability to work with him, to work for justice and for truth,
To build his Kingdom and bear his love in our world.
Here am I a servant of the Lord –Let it be to me according to your will.