In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. (Luke 1:26-29)
During a recent visit to Tennessee, my sweet grand-nephew invited me into his Holiday playhouse. I couldn’t refuse his sweet smile. I tried different positions to fit through the door and finally I backed into the house where we played for a half hour. My muscles were crunched and sore, so it was more difficult to back out
I imagine Gabriel fitting into Mary’s dwelling as well as I fit into my great nephew’s Holiday playhouse. Since Gabriel’s name means strength of God, I picture him rising 7 or 8 feet, muscular, with massive wings to quickly deliver God’s messages. So, I’m guessing when Gabriel slammed to earth, Mary was outside gazing at stars, wondering about her future with Joseph. She was troubled with Gabriel’s words, probably so shocked and scared, she didn’t hear them.
The scene may have gone down differently. Perhaps Mary’s mom left the house to milk the goats while Mary was alone in the house making breakfast. An angel looking like one in my mother’s curio appears before Mary in the comfort of her home and hugs her, saying, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary immediately would’ve felt blessed. But that wasn’t how it went down. Return to the outdoor scene.