The Annunciation

The mother snake will lay her fertilized eggs in the nest and then abandon them, never to return. Baby snakes hatch with the ability to take care of themselves.
The mother alligator will remain with her young alligators for up to a year. She protects them from would-be-predators up to a year. Many animals hunt alligator hatchlings, but few are bold enough to mess with them when Momma is near.
A newborn elephant is able to wobble to his feet an hour after birth to enjoy his first drink of his mother’s milk. The elephant herd will give the calf a few days to rally his strength; but elephants need a lot of food and they need to keep moving to get enough. The baby elephant walks under his mother, who seldom loses physical contact, helping the little one to his feet if he falls, carrying him over obstacles. If he gets lost and squeals, not only the mother, but the entire heard will rush to his aid.
A baby gorilla weighs about four to five pounds at birth, but matures quickly. Even at one-day-old, the baby gorilla is able to hold onto his mother’s fur. At four to five months, a gorilla baby is able to start putting plants into his mouth and bite on them. At eight months, the young gorilla regularly ingests solid food. At three years, he is independent because his mother gives birth to the next baby.
God created His animals with a unique and varied way of caring for their young. But, out of all of God’s diverse creation, the human baby is by far the most helpless for the longest period of time.
A human baby is born needing his parents’ care. He needs to be nursed, burped, changed, and clothed. After several months, he can start eating rice cereal and mashed vegetables. Later, he needs gates and locks to keep him from hurting himself as he learns to crawl and walk. As a toddler, he is becoming more independent and has learned to say, “No!” During his school age years, he is growing, learning, and developing. He is fun to watch and play with. He is able to do simple chores around the house. But, he still needs his clothes washed, food made, and morality instilled. As a teenager, he is becoming even more independent and has learned how to text, “No!”
It is finally in the teenage years that human children are developed enough, intelligent enough, and strong enough to take care of themselves, if necessary.
The Almighty God created the crown of His creation as really the weakest and most helpless of all of His creation.
And, it is this kind of helpless creature that God Almighty decided that His Son would become.
The Christian Church has set aside March 25 to celebrate the Annunciation – the announcement by the angel Gabriel that Mary would give birth to the Son of God. March 25 is nine months before December 25, when we celebrate the birth of the Son of God from the Virgin Mary.
Throughout history, Christian artists have portrayed the angel visiting young Mary. They have used paint and canvas to visualize the Annunciation.

The Annunciation is the celebration that the Almighty God of heaven and earth took on the flesh and blood of a weak and helpless human baby. The God whom the universe cannot contain, contained Himself within the womb of a woman. The Son of God left His throne in heaven to become a fetus inside the womb of an unwed teenage virgin. The God of the galaxy became no bigger than a dot to save the entirety of humanity.
God doesn’t bring about humanity’s salvation with warriors or angels or weapons. He saves humanity by sending an embryo.
Jesus left eternity to enter time and space as a human infant. Jesus is now our God incarnate – God in human flesh and blood.
 God the Father knew that His Son’s first crib would be a feeding trough for cattle. He knew that His Son would be humbled to sucking His thumb and filling His diaper. He knew that though all of creation was formed by using His Son as the Word of God, Jesus would take years to learn to speak words.
God the Father knew how weak Jesus would be as a human being. He wept at the death of His friend, Lazarus. He became tired and fell asleep in a boat. He needed to eat at the home of Mary and Martha, and needed a drink of water at Jacob’s well. He fasted for 40 days in the desert and was tempted by the devil in that wilderness. He made human friends, and then was betrayed by a friend’s kiss, denied by His disciple, and deserted by those closest to Him. He was hated, lied about, arrested, falsely accused, unjustly tried, slapped in the face, and spat upon. He was mocked and humiliated, publicly flogged, and cruelly executed as a criminal. 

Why did God allow all this to happen to His Son? Because all life is precious to Him. The Son of God became human flesh and blood so that He might save human flesh and blood and soul. God became a human Son and Brother, while remaining God, so that He can call us God’s sons and daughters, Christ’s brothers and sisters.
If there is ever a doubt about God’s commitment to humanity, the annunciation of the incarnation removes that doubt. Gabriel announced that God would be born of Mary to save the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. This Child in Mary’s womb is also the Savior hanging dead on the cross and the Redeemer walking out of the tomb. He is the eternal God-Man who removed your sins, defeated death, crushed Satan’s head, and lifted the curse. Jesus was born of Mary to fulfill His name and save sinners, to create new hearts, to clean consciences, and change eternal destinations. Jesus is Immanuel – eternally God with us (Isaiah 7:14).
This is how much human life is worth – it is worth the conception, birth, death, and resurrection of the very Son of God. This proves how precious all human life is to God.

On March 25, the celebration of the Annunciation, we remember that God doesn’t bring about humanity’s salvation with warriors or angels or weapons. He saves humanity by sending an embryo.


Popular posts from this blog

The hand of the Triune God’s blessing

Be still – A funeral sermon for Jason Lopez, Jr.

Funeral sermon for Susan P. Tangerstrom