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and it is not robed in majesty



Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
Andrei Rublev
Luke 1: 34-35  (NKJV)

The angel's "therefore" seems alarmingly significant, the seed of what Christian theologians have for well over a thousand years termed the scandal of the Incarnation.  It also resonates with my own life.  When a place or time seems touched by God, it is an overshadowing, a sudden eclipsing of my own priorities and plans. But even in terrible circumstances and calamities, in matters of life and death, if I sense that I am in the shadow of God, I find light, so much light that my vision improves dramatically. I know that holiness is near.

And it is not robed in majesty. It does not assert itself with the raw power of empire (not even the little empire of the self in which I all too often reside), but it waits in puzzlement, it hesitates. Coming from Galilee, as it were, from a place of little hope, it reveals the ordinary circumstances of my life to be full of mystery, and gospel, which means "good news."

-Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith


Praying today that my life would be overshadowed by the the power of the Highest, and that his light would show my ordinary life to be full of the good news of the incarnation...that my own little empire would be toppled.