today. So after hearing gospel stories for the last three weeks that helped prepare us for the Nativity, finally today with our story of the Annunciation we're getting down to the beautiful stories we know and love, we're getting to the heart of the matter. This is the final preparation for the plan God has had to rescue us since the Garden of Eden.
We saw a small piece of that plan in our first reading, so that's where we need to first turn our attention. This reading shows us a small episode from the life of King David, Jesus' ancestor. David is king early in Israel's history, so at this point there was no temple, so the Ark of the Covenant, the dwelling place of God, still rested in a tent from the desert wanderings. So David thinks, "This is no good, I need to build a temple for God." The problem with this is that David told God his own plans on what he was going to do for God, rather than receiving God's plan. As he's preparing to do this, God sends his prophet to tell David, "Not so fast. You want to build me a house? No, I've done so much for you already, and to prove my love I am going to do still more. I'm going to build you a house a kingdom, a dynasty that will last forever." Partially, God is referring to David's son Solomon who was allowed to build a temple. But primarily, God is referring to David's descendant, Jesus, whose throne does indeed last forever.
But a huge unexpected thing we need to deal with is Mary, the one through whom we received Jesus. In Mary, God used the most unexpected vehicle of all to fulfill his plan, so let's examine Mary in the context of where she lived for a minute. Mary is a woman in a patriarchal society, she's young in a society that values age, and poor in a society that valued wealth. And she was unmarried, so she had access to none of the things that would have validated her existence. She's part of a tribe whose royal lineage has about played itself out, and she's part of a nation that currently finds itself under foreign occupation. Her circumstances put her among the lowest and most humble people in the world.