Thursday, 1 December 2011

Journeying with Mary Day Five

Day Five - Thursday 1st December 2011

Luke 1:34-35
How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon 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.

Finally we hear from Mary.  She is dumb struck no longer, although I find it hard to imagine she was silent until now, but I bow to the knowledge of the Gospel writers.  And let's give her the credit she deserves, she asks the pertinent question How?
The angel was not worried, not disturbed by the question; not insulted or affronted.  In seemingly simple words the angel explained that the "power of the most high will come upon you".  You will notice that these are slightly different words than included in the NIV translation; Mary would know nothing about the Holy Spirit since it arrived on Earth many years later at Pentecost, but she would have recognised God's power.

That's reassuring isn't it!
You've been visited by an angel, told you're special.
Told you're going to have a baby who will be the King of your race.
And now you're told that it will happen by the power of God coming upon you.

Feeling calm?
I think I'd have a whole load more questions like how? when? will it hurt?
But perhaps that's my own failings.

Prayer for the day
Father you know us each and love us for what we are and what we are able to do.  You knew Mary could and would cope, you know what each of us can cope with and we ask to have more faith in this when we are faced with things we worry about.  Amen


Nancy Wallace said...

I love the way Mary is feisty enough to question the heavenly messenger, with her 'how?' How indeed! Thank you for this series of posts.
I'm a bit puzzled by what you say about Mary "knowing nothing about the Holy Spirit since it arrived on earth many years later at Pentecost". Theologically this makes no sense to me as someone who believes in "one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit". Mary would surely have known at least some of the references in the Law and the Prophets to the Spirit of the Lord, active in creation and coming upon certain people at certain times. Are you really saying that the Holy Spirit was not present on earth before Pentecost? What - not even in Jesus? I also disagree with using the word 'it' for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit isn't a thing, but is God, who is personal. whether you use 'he' or 'she' I don't mind, but definitely not 'it'.

Emma Major said...

Thanks for your comments Nancy, this is why I should have a checker before posting.

I of course believe that the Holy Spirit has existed for all time. I meant that Mary would not have hears the term "Holy Spirit" since that was not in common language (I think).

And as For he/she/it of the holy spirit, sometimes I want to say they :)

Nancy Wallace said...

Thanks for clarifying that Emma.