It’s 275 days to Christmas – or thanks to Irenaus who’s quick ‘nine months counting back from Christmas’ calculation called the 25 March The Feast of the Annunciation.
The fact that it regularly chimes with Passiontide does not go unnoticed, creating interesting theological resonances at this time of year. However, it does mean that at times, clashing with Holy Week, the feast gets ‘bounced’, as it has this year, on to the 8 April. It does not stop me at least remembering the feast today, especially as –
I was inducted as vicar to my first incumbency on the Feast of The Annunciation, and it remains a profoundly formational season for me. The great call delivered by Gabriel to Mary, and her response of “Lord, I am your servant – let it be to me according to your will“ seems entirely appropriate for anyone launching in to a new ministry, which I was 17 year ago today – and again, as I will be starting another new ministry shortly after the ‘transferred date’ for the Annunciation this year too.
In Holy Week, many clergy re-affirm their call to ministry at the Chrism Service, and to have “I am your servant – let it be to me according to your will“ in the forefront of our minds can’t but help sustain ministry, whether ordained or not.