If you’re in West Suffolk this afternoon do drop into Mildenhall Parish Church at 2pm to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation with our diocesan MU branches who will be parading their banners – something I always find very moving.
We’ll remember how often the Annunciation appears in art, and three features in particular of its classic representation:
- How the angel bends gently towards Mary showing the divine humility that will characterise Christ, and draws Mary – through a range of reactions – into that same gently bending obedience to God. A model for us.
- How the active gift of the Incarnation by God (spot the dove and light beam in many pictures) is matched by Mary’s prayerfulness (spot the prayer book and prie dieu). We are partners in God’s work too.
- How the picture will probably show both symbols of Mary’s virginity (a lily, a garden enclosed) but also of everyday life (a street scene, a patron’s symbol – the picture above is a bit of a <fail> on this). We are called to take God’s gift and presence out into the world and make a difference.