One Surprised Angel

Even if he were the most devoted and dedicated angel in all of heaven,

Gabriel must have been taken by surprise

The Almighty, Immortal, Omnipotent God of all Creation

Was going to become one of those frail, fallible, fearful humans.

Before Gabriel could decide if he had heard correctly,

God springs another surprise.

Gabriel must go to the backwater town of Nazareth

And tell a poor, peasant teenager that she is to be the Mother of God.

The bearer of the Holy One.

Did Gabriel had to stifle the urge to blurt out “Seriously?”

Did his face betray his astonishment at this assignment?

Surely angels are wiser than humans.

Surely angels know that God always knows best. 

Perhaps Gabriel asked no questions at all, and

Went immediately to deliver the news

to an unsuspecting teenage girl

whose world was about to be turned upside down, and

who would change the world forever.


Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer is an online, inclusive and progressive Christian community. Follow us on Facebook and get emails to keep up with all that is happening.


How about starting the New Year with a discipline to make other’s lives better? Join us for You Got This: The Intentional Encourager and learn to be intentional about encouraging others in ways that go far beyond “You got this!” and “Way to go!” Join us as we focus on encouraging others in the eight weeks between New Year’s Day and Ash Wednesday.

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