This Sunday we hear the wonderful story of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was going to have a baby who would be holy. Mary has been a subject of fascination and wonder for centuries. This is a copy of a portion of a painting of Mary by John Williams Waterhouse, 1914.
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would bear a holy child, what did Mary look like? Countless artists have attempted to portray this mystery. This sketch is a copy of part of a famous painting by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1898.
The Blessed Virgin Mary inspires us as she ponders the ways of God and responds, “Let it be to me according to your word.”
In the Gospel lesson this morning the angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will conceive and bear a child who will be holy. She replies in wonder, “How can this be, for I am a virgin?”
Mary has been the subject of myriads of paintings over the centuries as artists have pondered Mary’s gentleness, humility, and acceptance. She’s a wonderful subject.
In our Old Testament lesson this Sunday, King David asks the prophet Nathan if he should build God a house of cedar (a temple). Nathan replies, “Thus says the Lord, You shall not build me a house, but I will build you a house.”
The “house” that God will build for David is the house of his descendants, who will sit on David’s throne forever. Jesus, the Son of David, now sits on David’s throne.
In our Old Testament lesson for next Sunday, God speaks to the prophet Nathan. God tells him that King David should not build him a house. Instead, God will build David a house, and David’s throne will be established forever.
David may not have wanted to hear this, so I think Nathan may have been a bit perplexed. Here’s my interpretation of Nathan as God speaks to him.
It’s the Third Sunday of Advent, and we light the third candle on our Advent log.
In our Psalm this Sunday, we hear the words, “Those who sowed with tears
will reap with songs of joy.”
This verse, the basis for the old Gospel song, “Bringing in the sheaves,” reminds us that even though our labors are full of toil and weariness, at the end God will bring us to a place of joy.
This drawing is a copy of Van Gogh’s painting, “Noon: rest from work.” To me it captures the bliss of rest after a period of physical labor.
This is how I see John the Baptist standing among the authorities who came to interrogate him.
My image of John the Baptist, who shows up in our Gospel lesson this Sunday.
Our New Testament reading for Sunday reminds us to “Rejoice always!” We hear this reminder on the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, when we light the pink candle on the Advent Wreath.