An Icon: Annunciation, Early XIV Century, St Mary Perivleptos Church, Ohrid Icon Gallery, from Wikipedia
Bible Readings and Devotion for March 25, 2020
You are encouraged to read these passages from this page or from your personal Bible. After the readings is a devotion based on one or more of the readings.
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or an online Bible – click passage listing for link to online:
Devotion for March 25, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
This is a day of miraculous joy in the midst of challenges. Today we are nine months until Christmas. March 25th is the day each year when we give thanks for what we call “The Annunciation of Our Lord”. It is the day when the Angel Gabriel visited the virgin Mary to announce the calling of Mary to be the mother of Jesus.
Our reading from Luke today give us the Biblical account of this significant event in the life of Jesus. At the point of this visit Mary is not yet pregnant with Jesus. It is only after she consents to this miraculous conception that the preborn Jesus is in her womb.
This whole event is a grand cluster of hope filled miracles. Our teacher, Martin Luther, told about this in a sermon on this passage. Here is a section of that sermon: “There is such richness and goodness in this Nativity that if we should see and deeply understand, we should be dissolved in perpetual joy. Wherefore Saint Bernard [of Clairvaux] declared there are here three miracles: that God and man should be joined in this Child; that a mother should remain a virgin; that Mary should have such faith as to believe that this mystery would be accomplished in her. The last is not the least of these three. The virgin birth is a mere trifle for God; that God should become man is a greater miracle; but most amazing of all is that this maiden should credit the announcement that she, rather than some other virgin, had been chosen to be mother of God.”
For those of us who live by faith in Jesus, we are recipients of a miracle of sorts. We have received the life-giving miracle of faith in Jesus. Here Martin Luther has much to share with us. In his Small Catechism he wrote the following:
“The Third Article:
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
What is this?
I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him, but instead the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy and kept me in the true faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and makes holy the whole Christian church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one common, true faith. Daily in this Christian church the Holy Spirit abundantly forgives all sins—mine and those of all believers. On the last day the Holy Spirit will raise me and all the dead and will give to me and all believers in Christ eternal life. This is most certainly true.”
Just like Mary’s belief that she would be the mother of Jesus, we have received the gift of faith in Jesus. God has shown his great love for us in that we can trust that the saving work of Jesus has been done for each one of us. The miracle is there for each of us individually.
This gift of faith in Jesus is central to how we will move through the days, weeks and months ahead. As God holds fast to us, let us each respond in faith by holding fast to Jesus and our faith in him.
Pour your grace into our hearts, O God, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son, Jesus Christ, announced by an angel, may by his cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; for he lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.