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“Annunciation” (1913); oil on canvas by Maurice Denis (1870-1943; French).

Moses at the Red Sea Exodus 14

One of my favorite Bible stories is Moses and the

Mary Luke 1:26-38 In December, when the chill of winter begins to

blow through my door as I retrieve my morning paper, young Mary haunts my reveries. Mary doesn’t barge into Advent with a shout in the desert and the scent of locusts and honey on her breath. She, a newly betrothed teenager, arrives quietly. Martin Luther thought she may have been doing housework when her life changed—something ordinary, like sweeping the floor. “Greetings!” says the angel with all the subtlety of the

pesky neighbor who knocks on your door too early in the morning and asks, “Is this a bad time?” Of course it’s a bad time. It’s a bad time for a teenager who has barely known her first kiss to be told that she, of all people, has been chosen to bear God’s own child. A shudder runs through Mary’s heart. “Do not be

afraid,” the angel Gabriel says, and those words make all the difference. She does not fear. She wonders. In an age plagued by fear and skepticism, Mary wonders at this gospel. Could there have been other homes Gabriel visited?

Could there have been other Marys whom this light- robed messenger urged not to fear, only to have the door slammed in his face? But this Mary wonders and then says, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

Terry L. Morgan attends Christ the King Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio, and is supply preacher for Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Germantown, Ohio.

“Exodus”; woodcut by

Azariah Mbatha (1941-; South Africa), who has lived in Sweden since 1969.

December 2015 17

Israelites at the Red Sea. Faced with a seemingly impos- sible situation with nowhere to turn, Moses tells the people: “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliv- erance that the Lord will accomplish for you today” (Exodus 14:13). If you trust in the Lord and “stand firm,” God will

deliver you from seemingly impossible situations. I love that promise and reassurance. Moses continues: “Te Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still” (Exodus 14:14). Wow. What a comfort to know that the Almighty

Creator of the universe is fighting on our behalf. Turn your cares, worries and concerns over to God—trust in the Lord to deliver you in the time of your greatest need.

George M. Brickley attends First Lutheran Church in Malden, Mass.


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