Monday, December 4, 2017

Annunciation from Different Angles

Yesterday, my church looked at the story of the Annunciation, where the angel Gabriel appears to Mary.  I was in charge of the interactive service, and I wanted to do something different, since I'm often in charge of the service that looks at the Annunciation.

Several years ago I was part of a project that had poets writing poems about the Annunciation.  Elizabeth Adams, the editor, created art to go with the poems.  Her publishing company published the book, and I ordered extra copies.  For more information about the book, and to order your own copy, go here.

We are celebrating Advent by having waffles between services, so as people ate their waffles, I read the story of the Annunciation in Luke.  After we sang two songs, we looked at the books.  We didn't have lots of time, so there wouldn't be a reading of the whole book, just a quick look to see what leapt out at us.

I divided the group into smaller groups, since I didn't have a book for everyone.  Each group chose a poem, with mine not being one of the options, and read it out loud.

The exercise seemed to go well.  People liked seeing the story from other angles, including from the perspective of the angel Gabriel.  The exercise did what I wanted it to do, which was to get us to think about the story in a different way.  Those of us who have been going to church for years have been hearing this story every year.  It's easy to forget how strange a story it is.

As I went to the next service, the more traditional service in the sanctuary, I looked at my feet which are a bit swollen with arthritis.  I thought about the story of Elizabeth, who was older than I am, and the swellings of middle and older age and of pregnancy--and I spent the next service, working on a poem.

So, it was a good morning, all around.

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