After Sunday: Announced Into a Mystery

Snow Mountain

We were a small crowd, but we were gathered around a huge topic on Sunday morning.  Of what relevance is the virgin birth to us?  The spiritual life has an element of the mysterious to it.  It holds that some of the most important things are hidden, not immediately obvious to us.  This is why it is difficult to be a “literalist” and hope to mature spiritually.

When Mary asks the angel how it will be that she is – or becomes – pregnant while a virgin, the answer she gets is: The Holy Spirit will come upon you …  I’m not sure that gives her the kind of information she is looking for.  But her response is telling – it is a model for us who want to grow spiritually.  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “

John William Waterhouse - The Annunciation.  1914

John William Waterhouse – The Annunciation. 1914

May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Perhaps you have found yourself wondering from time to time: How am I going to get through this?  So many times, when we are pushed up against the wall of uncertainty, we are left without not only the “how” of the thing, but the “why” as well.  Often it isn’t until the turmoil has passed or the danger has subsided that we come to see the answers to those questions.  And if we pause long enough to examine how are lives move from one day to the next, one blessing or crisis to the next, we see traces of a mysterious presence – like faint impressions in the snow, or a gentle ripple on the water.  Something – or Someone is there, but it’s hard to say just who it is.

We went through some of the more pragmatic possibilities regarding the potential meaning and purpose of the Doctrine of the Virgin Birth in the message on Sunday morning.  (You can read that message by clicking here.)  Now that the Fourth Sunday of Advent is behind us, and with the celebration of the incarnation bearing down hard on us, perhaps this is a good time to contemplate the Virgin Birth in a different way.  Is there a mystery here that all of us can enter into?  Perhaps, with eyes closed, we can simply ponder in our spirit, as Mary pondered in her heart, this powerful question: How will this be?

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.