“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (Luke 1:35) What a wild and intimate and exciting and terrifying journey Mary is being invited on. It is a journey that thrills her even as it troubles her. “What does this mean? How will this be?” And the beautiful answer she is given is that she will be overshadowed. Her life will no longer be about herself, but about her God. She will be the one through whom he will enter his creation.
Being overshadowed means two distinct things. First, it means that her life is secondary. From here on out, her life will be hidden. She will always live in the shadows of the bigger story that is being told, and she needs to not only be okay with that, but she needs to embrace it.
And secondly, it means that the Holy Spirit will envelop her, the same way the cloud enveloped the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration. (Luke 9:34) She will disappear into him, and he will envelop her—what a beautiful picture of the life God invites each of us into.
All of us, like Mary, are invited to be hidden in him and enveloped by him. The only question is: What will we say? Will we, like Mary, say yes to this incredible, yet demanding, invitation into the very heart and life of God? Will we say, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”? Will we have the courage and the strength and the grace to live the overshadowed life?
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