Luke 1 v 38¾

New verse in LukeFar be it from me to correct Holy Scripture, but I can’t help but feel like there’s a verse missing in Luke’s rendition of the Annunciation.

Almost right from the off, we’re taken on a roller-coaster ride of church services, angel visits and unexpected pregnancies. The first 37 verses are chock-full of comings and goings and talking: a lot of serious talking.

Then almost exactly half-way through the chapter in verse 38, Mary says “I am the servant of the Lord”. And the angel departed.

And there, right there, there should be another verse. In a heartbeat, the second half of the chapter will begin, and we’ll rush headlong into more pronouncements and the birth of John, just before the birth of Jesus and the start of one man’s adventure that changed the course of history.

But at that point - let’s call it verse 38¾ - there is a moment of suspended silence.

On my calmer days I like to think that Mary is staring into the middle distance, pondering serenely what’s about to unfold. On hectic days, I imagine her leaning her head on the table, breathing deeply and counting to ten.

Today, look out for the unscripted moment and stop.

Use the breathing space of Luke 1 verse 38¾ to gaze serenely - or count slowly through gritted teeth - before you set off at a gallop again.


  • 56 years ago