A glow on the horizon, pink, purple, barely perceptible.
You keep waiting, listening to the waves. The sky is brightening. You know the day stretches before you, yet you linger in it’s first moments. The edge of the burning orb appears, first a sliver, then fully revealed.
A brilliant heavenly visitor stood before the small-town, engaged, teen girl. Her expression was confused.
“But I’ve never been with a man.”
At first glance the response of Mary is identical to that of Zechariah. He stated the impossibility of what was promised and was punished for his doubt. Mary’s question came from a place of faith.
Gabriel told Mary that a distant family member was pregnant in old age, a sign from God that this promise of virginal conception would become reality.
Mary immediately traveled to visit Elizabeth and her words of greeting have been repeated for centuries. The Holy Spirit filled Elizabeth and her preborn son. John leaped in the womb as the fetal Messiah entered their home! Elizabeth specifically affirmed Mary for her belief in the fulfillment of the promise of God.
In this third week of Advent, I believe. Not an open ended, nonspecific sense that things will be ok. Not belief in myself and my abilities. Rather, confidence in the fulfillment of the promises of God.
The sky is glowing. He is with us, changing us. Just like at dawn, the brilliance of His glory is yet to be fully revealed.