March 25, 2005

The Beginning of Our Salvation

One thing I have learned by blogging is how much better other people are at expressing things - much better than me. For example, one of the Orthoblogosphere's Minor Clergy has an excellent meditation on today's feast.

Nonetheless, I am compelled to jot down a few of my thoughts on the Annunciation.

The Annunciation is the single most significant event in the history of the universe. Without it there is no Christmas, no Good Friday, no Pascha. The Annunciation is the Incarnation. Holy Nativity is simply the result of the natural nine-month process. As St Paul tells us, Good Friday is meaningless without Pascha. But you can't resurrect someone who wasn't dead, and you can't kill someone who wasn't alive, and no human is alive unless they were formed in the womb.

The Annunciation makes it all possible. As in the troparion for today, we sing:

Today is the beginning of our salvation
and the manifestation of the mystery which is from eternity.
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin,
and Gabriel announces grace.
So with him let us also cry to the Mother of God:
Rejoice, thou who art full of grace!
The Lord is with thee.

Protestants wonder why we venerate Mary above all the other saints. (Well, they often wonder why we venerate the saints at all, but that's for another time.) The Annunciation is the reason why. At the Annunciation she went from being just another teenage girl to being Theotokos, the Mother of God. By her act of faith, saying, "Let it be to me according to your word," she found within herself the infinite and eternal God the Son, giving him her genes, her chromosomes, her DNA.

These things cause us to venerate - to honour - Mary. She will always be His mother and He will follow His Fifth Commandment and always honour her. We follow His example. These marvelous things also cause us to well up with worship and adoration for the God-man Christ Jesus, the Father Who sent Him, and the Holy Spirit who overshadowed the Virgin.

I have written further about this at some length a couple of years ago in a Mental Meandering.

Every time we confess our faith, we profess the importance of the Annunciation by declare that we believe in

... the only begotten Son of God,
begotten of his Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven,
and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost
of the Virgin Mary,
and was made man...

What a juxtaposition: begotten, not made with and was made man. The unmade was made in the Virgin's womb. Why? For our salvation. "And you shall call his name..." what? Yeshua. "...the Lord saves".

Posted by david at March 25, 2005 01:10 AM

Oh I just love her so!!!! I truly do!!!

Posted by: philippa at March 26, 2005 12:41 AM