Liturgy means so many things to me- this is the third installment of a four part series on this topic
Advent is the time to anticipate the coming Savior. The Baby King gestating, Mary’s belly growing, and Joseph planning their departure. The drama of Advent is often lost in the beauty of familiarity. The Gospels become rote and the miracle becomes normalized.
“Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” A shock must have rushed through her. There must have been a fear of the angel, an awe in its overwhelming presence, and anxiety of the uncertainty to come. And yet she said yes. Mary chose obedience in her obscurity, the Christ child over a carefree engagement, and the gossip of strangers for the good of salvation.
“A virgin will be with child and bear a son.” This was an immaculate conception—something no one could prove. Her fiancé was plagued with questions, but a dream changed everything. The cosmic plan could have fallen apart—Joseph could have departed and divorced the maiden quietly. And yet he obeyed. When faced with doubt, leaning toward betrayal, he slept and found instructions by morning light.
“While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.” When her water broke, so did four hundred years of silence and waiting. Waiting and anticipation gave way to the promised Messiah from the line of David lying in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes. The tiny human and Holy God was here.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” The multitude of angels sang out in fanfare and celebration This is what the heavens proclaimed and the Prophets promised—a King.
We wait with excitement by lighting the candles, reading the scripture and celebrating each day. May wonder confound the known and the mystery of Advent be ever beautiful. May it never become mundane. May the familiar awaken the mystery and open our eyes to join in obedience with Mary and Joseph, in waiting with the Prophets, and in praise with the angels. The Liturgy of Advent reminds us that no matter our expectations, Christ is coming, and the unexpected will become truth and this Truth incarnate paid the ransom for our freedom.