Today is the Feast of the Annunciation. When the Church calendar set Jesus birthday as December 25th, March 25th became the day to celebrate the Incarnation. We celebrate Mary who said yes. And we celebrate Jesus who said yes.
John 6:38 (Jesus said) “…for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day."
"I have come down from heaven." Apparently so did the angel Gabriel when he appeared to Mary. The Chariot of fire that picked up Elijah came from heaven. The angel that touched Jacobs hip, and others, apparently came down from heaven.
But what is contained in those words of Jesus. “I have come down from heaven.” Come down, but not like the angel, able to simply zip back to wherever they came from. He has come down from heaven binding himself to the flesh of Mary, and through her to the flesh of each of us. In some mysterious way he has tied himself forever to our humanity.
Our wounds, illness, joy’s, triumphs, sorrows, trials, sins, and all we are contained in these bodies, he binds to himself. He takes our flesh upon himself, and begins to transform us.
“I came down from heaven.” Not a tourist, not a temporary visitor, but as one who lays claim to every atom under heaven.
“Come abide within me; let my soul, like Mary, be thine earthly sanctuary” **. Amen.
** Verse 4 of "God himself is with us" Hymn 475, Episcopal Hymnal, 1982
Colossians 1: 15* He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16* for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers--all things have been created through him and for him. 17* He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18* He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.
Philippians 2 5* Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6* who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7* but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8* he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even death on a cross. 9* Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10* so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11* and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Ephesians 1: 9* he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10* as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.