The Angel Left Her

The Angel Left Her

Though commentaries write a lot about the encounter between Mary and the angel, most of them skip the final phrase like it’s not even there. Let's call our attention to it now, because it may be key to understanding more than just Christmas, but what the spiritual life is all about. Also, join us in praying by using the Daily ExamenTo download a PDF for your phone, click HERE

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Shadowed by the Spirit

Shadowed by the Spirit

When we are desperate, when we are longing, when we want to know HOW God is going to show up and help, it’s no wonder that we respond with some ambivalence! 

For most of us, the Spirit is either...this intangible mysterious gift better left unopened...OR this super-dramatic, even scary force that I better keep my distance from. 

AND YET, the angel’s answer, the answer of Scripture again and again, to all our “How” questions, is the Holy Spirit. 

So who is this Holy Spirit, and why is this Spirit good news?

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The Burden of the Golden God

The Burden of the Golden God

The good life was still within my reach, I reasoned. I just needed a little bit more and I’d be all set. 

When times get tight, financially, do you ever spin out like me? Start wandering down the paths of “if only …”  and, “I’d be set if only...”

I would bet that most of us have gone down this rabbit trail at some time or other. 

But here’s where we get it wrong. Here’s how I got it wrong.

We think that the connection between money and contentedness comes down to this one word: security.

I think, if I had more money, I would feel more secure. If I had more security, I would be happier. Therefore, more money would make me more happier.  

Or maybe for you, it’s not about money.  It’s what that money can get you.  

Musician John Mayer was interviewed awhile ago when he was 25, and he said, “The odd thing about having this kind of money at 25 is that everything always works.  My watch works.  My car works.  Everything around me always runs smoothly.  Things are supposed to break when you’re 25, but they don’t break for me.”

So many of us, we don’t want money in and of itself.  It’s not about that for us.  

We just want everything to work.  

We don’t need the nicest stuff.  We just need the nicer stuff.  The stuff that doesn’t break all the time, that we don’t have to worry about.  

That would make us happy.  Is that too much to ask?  

And you know, sometimes that logic works out, and for a while we find happiness. 

But sometimes it doesn’t.

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Unhinged by Grace

Unhinged by Grace

When big, unexepected transtions like these come, they usually come with a whole lot of big existential questions like, “Who am I now? What does this mean for us? How do we go forward? What do I do now?”  And so I can’t help but wonder if that’s a little of what Mary might have felt when Gabriel shook-up her life that one night some 2000 years ago. 

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I am the Lord's Servant

I am the Lord's Servant

Many of us have heard the recounting of Mary being visited by an angel, many years ago. She was likely 12 or 13, living at home with her parents, and engaged to a man named Joseph. When the angel reported that Mary was "highly favored" she was not greatly thrilled, but rather "greatly troubled." And yet, at the conclusion of their exchange, she responds, "I am the Lord's servant." Let's take a look at this powerful, five word phrase.

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