Today's Reading: Luke 1:26-38
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. (Luke 1:32)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Christmas in the middle of Lent? Well, not quite. Nine months until Christmas. That's when we celebrate the announcement to Mary of Jesus' conception and birth. There is a great mystery spoken by the angel here. Jesus will be the Son of the Highest. Who is higher than God? Jesus will have the throne of His father, David. An earthly ancestry?
With reference both to Jesus being God's Son and David's Son, Gabriel confesses to Mary the Incarnation, namely, that God and man are one person in Jesus. That Jesus is true God, begotten of the Father, and true man, born of the virgin Mary.
So that makes this announcement different than any other announcement. Ever. No "Hear ye! Hear ye!" ever had as much Good News as this announcement by the angel. After ages had passed, the Lord was finally bringing about the fulfillment of the promise He made all the way back to Adam and Eve: the promise of a Savior.
The Annunciation celebrated in the middle of Lent reminds us why we have Lent at all: Jesus came to save us. That's why the Son became man. It's why Jesus was born. It's why He lived and then He died horribly on a cross. It's what His resurrection is all about: our being saved.
In a sense, Mary is a picture of each of us. We hear the Word proclaimed, and by it Christ lives in us. In the water and Spirit of the font, the "womb" of the Church, our mother, God becomes our Father. The infinite and eternal Son takes on human flesh so that it can be pierced and bleed and so that it can be given to eat and drink under the bread and wine.
This is a big announcement! The Son of God is going to be in your womb, Mary. Yet that's not just for Mary. It's for the whole world. The Savior is going to be born! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Oh, that birth forever blessed, When the virgin full of grace, By the Holy Ghost conceiving, Bore the Savior of our race, And the babe, the world's Redeemer, First revealed His sacred face Evermore and evermore. (Of the Father's Love Begotten, LSB 384:2)