This is St Matthew's in the City, Auckland's billboard for Christmas 2011 (H/T Taonga):
Compared to other years and their provocative "let's see how many fellow Christians we can offend" billboards, this get's 10/10 for sensitivity to fellow Christians: Mary was really pregnant and it was a surprise to her.
St Matthew's are looking for captions. Here is mine:
"Now I am in trouble. Joseph told me to trust the angel and not waste money on a test kit."
Mary was really pregnant and it was a surprise to her.
Not a surprise - no, it was something asked of her by God and that she willingly accepted to do.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
The poster, surprise, surprise reveals how little some people know of the Christian Faith.
To follow up - here is the caption even if it doesn't quite match the image
46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
Possible caption: "I wonder who will be the first to cast a stone - and who wont."
Sadly, Peter, I find your comment almost as disappointing as the St.Matthew's poster.
The Conception of Jesus was such an unexpected blessing for Mary, that she could hardly believe it. She need to visit her cousin Elizabeth to truly understand the full impact of what God had wrought in her.
All I can say is, thank God Mary said Yes! to the Angel Gabriel.
"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus!"
Let me not disappoint you, Bryden.
The Annunciation is celebrated (if at all) on March 25. Why is this church so behind on everything?
And why does anybody go to it?
Photoshopping an Old Master is vulgar but easy, and any schoolboy can get some cheap laughs out of it. Real depth and reverence calls for effort, and sometimes brains. This church seems to have neither.
I am suitably chastened re allowing myself to go along with the fun/cute aspect of St Matt's frivolity. But I stand by my appreciation that relative to the past St Matt's has been somewhat tame and respectful this year.
Ron! Ron! This bigoted fundamentalist con evo agrees with you!
I love the Mother of Our Lord and think every Christian should love her too, as her Son did.
Dear Martin, Thank God we DO have something in common. A love of Our Lady, Theotokos. Mother of God, is important for all of us, irrespective of our other theological differences. Mary is, after all, the provider of Our Lord's humanity. "Ave Maria..."
Hi Martin! One of the difficulties with any electronic medium is tone of voice. My possible “caption” was just that, a possible reflection by a “with-child” Mary, “betrothed” to Joseph, whose own act of “mercy” (reflecting itself a strong Matthean theme re the kingdom of heaven) contrasts so well with e.g. that floating pericope in John re the religious leaders’ own thoughts and desired actions (vs. our Lord’s). FWIW ...
As for “this church”: which one was that? I acknowledge 25th Mch as a feast day of the Church myself, naturally. Though I would say I incline as well to our Eastern brothers and sisters re the Dormition. Papal infallibility and all that notwithstanding! And godly/goodly folk participate in the life of the church where I am positioned coz they love Mary’s Son! Simple really ...
“Possible caption: ‘I wonder who will be the first to cast a stone - and who wont.’"—Bryden Black
Well said, Bryden!
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Yeeks Kurt! You and I agreeing: MUST be Christmas! Bless Him! And have a good one ...
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