Luke 1:35 The angel said to (Mary), “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.”
Reading in the Moravian Daily Texts we have finished Mark and now begin Luke. Mark begins his gospel with the story of Jesus’ baptism, but Luke contains the story of Jesus’ conception and birth. In this verse I’m drawn to the phrase “will come upon you”. The Greek word here “ἐπέρχομαι” is also used in the book of Acts (also written by Luke):
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you (ἐπέρχομαι)…
We understand Acts 1:8 to have been fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came like a violent wind filling the room where the disciples were meeting and tongues of fire rested upon each of them. It was an extraordinary event that no one could forget.
So here we have the angel telling Mary the Holy Spirit would come upon her – which obviously happened because Jesus was born to a virgin. Did Mary experience an amazing visitation from the Lord as was the case at Pentecost? Or was it something more subdued? If it was the former, why isn’t it mentioned? Did Mary not tell anyone? Did Luke not think it was fundamental to the gospel narrative and so left it out?
I’ve experienced both – extraordinary engagement with the Holy Spirit and the more subdued version we read about here. Both are equally valid in my opinion. What’s important is not what it looks like, but that it happens. Have you experienced a visit from the Lord? Or perhaps from an angel? I’d love to read about it.
Come Holy Spirit. Come. Amen.