Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:
Today, March 25, 2021, is when the Christian Church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord. Annunciation, from the Latin annuntiatio, meaning the announcing of news, recognizes the conception of our Lord to Mary by the Word of God spoken by the angel Gabriel.
This post is devoted to one of the Feast Days that the historic Christian Church regularly observed that are generally neglected today. I pray that you find this message beneficial in your devotions this or another day.
“The angel Gabriel appears to Mary and announces that God has shown her favor and will use her as the means for the Messiah’s birth. So Mary conceives Jesus when the angel says: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). This same Spirit who hovered over the waters and brought forth creation (Genesis 1:2) will now “hover over” the waters of Mary’s womb to conceive the creation’s Redeemer. As the Holy Spirit comes upon Mary, she conceives Jesus “through her ear” (as Martin Luther says). The one who is conceived is called Holy, the Son of God. This is the moment of the incarnation of our Lord. The date of the Annunciation falls on March 25, because the Ancient Church believed the crucifixion occurred on that date. In antiquity, people linked the day of a person’s conception with the day of his or her death. Thus, in the Annunciation, the Church joined together both the incarnation of Jesus and the atonement He accomplished.” 1
This feast has two verses. If the feast is observed outside of Lent it is “Alleluia. Behold, I am the servant of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word. Alleluia.” It is from Luke 1:38a. However, when it falls in Lent, it is “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all people.” It is from Luke 1:46b, 47a; 2:30-31.
Old Testament Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm Psalm 45:7-17 (antiphon v. 6)
Epistle Hebrews 10:4-10
Gospel Luke 1:26-38
The hymn appointed for this day is “The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came” as found on page 356 in the Lutheran Service Book. You may listen to this hymn as sung during an Advent service at Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne here: https://www.facebook.com/ctsfw/videos/lsb-356-the-angel-gabriel-from-heaven-came/295976367989738/
Collect of the Day:
O Lord, as we have known the incarnation of Your Son Jesus Christ by the message of the angel to the Virgin Mary, so by the message of His cross and passion bring us to the glory of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Pastor Jim Tuell
1 Treasury of Daily Prayer, Scot A Kinnaman, General Editor, Concordia Publishing House, Saint Louis, MO., 2008, p, 1287.