Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Interfaith Days: Annunciation

The Annunciation by Fra Angelico
Today is Annunciation, the Christian celebration of the announcement by Gabriel to Mary that she would become Jesus' mother. Annunciation is nine months prior to Christmas, but also falls within the Lenten season when the adult Jesus proceeds toward suffering and death. It is also close to the vernal equinox, which several religions have observed recently.

According to a book I've been reading recently, the ancient church had already set March 25 as the date of Jesus' conception, because the spring equinox was also believed to have been the date of the creation of the world (when light and darkness are equal). But it was also thought to be the date of Jesus' crucifixion---and so creation, incarnation, and atonement coincided on the older dating of the spring equinox.(1)

1. Greg Pennoyer and Gregory Wolfe, eds., God For Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter (Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2014), 143.

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