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AnnucnciationThere is a great Basque Hymn in the Lutheran Service book but I can’t get the syncopation so I wrote my own melody.  The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came is Hymn number 356.  Sting did a nice rendition of it.  Here is mine.  And here are some quotes from http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/03/25.html

The following paragraph is from Chapter 14 of the book Miracles, by C.S.Lewis.

  …one of those features of the Christian story which is  repulsive to the modern mind. To be quite frank, we do not at  all like the idea of a “chosen people”. Democrats by birth and  education, we should prefer to think that all nations and  individuals start level in the search for God, or even that all  religions are equally true. It must be admitted at once that  Christianity makes no concessions to this point of view. It  does not tell of a human search for God at all, but of  something done by God for, to, and about Man. And the way in  which it is done is selective, undemocratic, to the highest  degree. After the knowledge of God had been universally lost or  obscured, one man from the whole earth (Abraham) is picked out.  He is separated (miserably enough, we may suppose) from his  natural surroundings, sent into a strange country, and made the  ancestor of a nation who are to carry the knowledge of the true  God. Within this nation there is further selection: some die in  the desert, some remain behind in Babylon. There is further  selection still. The process grows narrower and narrower, sharpens at last into one small bright point like the head of a  spear. It is a Jewish girl at her prayers. All humanity (so far  as concerns its redemption) has narrowed to that.

The following quotation is from Martin Luther’s sermon “On the Magnificat” (the Song of Mary, Luke 1:46-55).

       “For He that is mighty hath done great things for me, and  Holy is His Name.” (Luke 1:49)  The “great things” are nothing less than that she became the  Mother of God, in which work so many and such great good things  are bestowed upon her as pass man’s understanding. For on this  there follows all honor, all blessedness, and her unique place  in the whole of mankind, among whom she has no equal, namely,  that she had a child by the Father in Heaven, and such a child.

She herself is unable to find a name for this work, it is  too exceedingly great; all she can do is break out in the  fervent cry: “They are great things,” impossible to describe  or define. Hence men have crowded all her glory into a single  word, calling her the Mother of God.

No one can say anything greater of her or to her, though  he had as many tongues as there are leaves on the trees, or  grass in the fields, or stars in the sky, or sand by the sea.  It needs to be pondered in the heart, what it means to be the  Mother of God.

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