Grace and Peace to you.
“You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
— Luke 1. 31-33
As we approach Holy Week we stumble upon one of those quirks of a literalistic interpretation of scripture: today, March 25, is exactly nine months before December 25, and therefore celebrated in the Roman tradition as the day of the Annunciation, when Gabriel announced the coming of the miraculous child to Mary. Never mind that the Bible says nothing of when Jesus was born; let’s take it as it is.
This week Jesus’ life comes full circle, and we see the fulfillment of Gabriel’s promise: not that Jesus came to die, but that he came to love. Now we see Jesus on the cross, his throne, reigning in love, his compassion supreme over all forces, even the greatest powers of evil and violence, even the power of death itself. None of these puny forces can stand up to his gentleness; even the most crushing blows evil can think of do not budge Jesus in the least, or begin to dent his tender forgiveness. It’s as if Caesar is trying to stomp on a little flower, and it won’t even bend. Love is invincible. Christ’s forgiveness is absolute. He reigns forever, and of his realm of healing, forgiveness and grace there will be no end.
As you stand here and contemplate the cross, under the reign of the Son of the Most High, I wonder if the promise comes full circle again? I wonder if I hear the voice of Gabriel. Is such sovereign compassion conceived in you today?
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes