While Mary was thinking about all she had heard, Gabriel said, “Do you know the story of God speaking to Moses in the land of Midian?”
“Yes,” replied Mary, “God spoke through a burning bush.”
The angel said, “I was the one who set the bush afire, Mary. I kept it burning to catch Moses’ attention, and stood listening as the Lord spoke. God told Moses he was to return to Egypt, speak to Pharaoh, and lead the Israelites out of their oppression. Moses fervently objected to God’s plan. I will admit that I wasn’t too fond of it, either. I didn’t see how Moses could possibly succeed. He had a mixed background: born an Israelite, but raised as an Egyptian. And so it seemed to me that neither Israelite nor Egyptian would trust him. The Egyptians would reject him because his blood was not ‘pure.’ The Israelites would see him as one who could not fully appreciate their suffering. I thought Moses was the wrong choice. But God saw more in Moses than I did. And it turned out that God was right.”
Mary continued to listen. Her thoughts were in a swirl. The angel’s words were overwhelming. It was almost too much to take in. While part of her mind heard what the angel was saying, another part was thinking, “Abraham. Sarah. Moses. And me? Me? I’m to play a role in God’s story something like theirs?” It was almost too much to take in. She began to tremble, and feel light-headed, and were it not for the angel’s eyes which held her attention, she would have fainted.
Thank you, God, for your grace which holds us together when life is overpowering. Amen.