Day 23. December 23, 2019
Nativity Companion: Mary
God we eagerly await and long for your calling our names. Might we be inclined to hear and believe you, and then order our lives in accordance with your calling.. AMEN.
Luke 2:21-32 (NRSV).
21 After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,29 “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
Reflection from Alice Loddigs
Honestly? My first thoughts were filled with questions and more than a little fear… Who is this? What does it mean that the Lord is with me? What is happening here? My heart was racing! And then he said… “Mary! do not be afraid!” The questions kept coming while at the same time I was oddly put at ease… How does he know my name? What will he say next?
The actual news was both amazing and, frankly, unbelievable.
Me pregnant? I am a virgin!
More questions… then real fear. Pregnant and unmarried? What will people say? What will Joseph think? What will Joseph do when he finds out? Will he believe this story??
A miracle was about to happen… a virgin will bear a child who will be called the Son of God! The miracle of new life was only the beginning. The miracle of believing… turning all my doubts and my questions into a beautiful YES to the spirit of God. “Let it be with me according to your word!” I said. When I visited my cousin (who was also miraculously pregnant), Elizabeth exclaimed “…blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” She embraced both miracles!
And then there was the miracle of Joseph. God came to him when he was contemplating finding a way to dismiss this ‘problem’ as quickly and quietly as possible. But he also believed the story of God present in our lives and in action, even when he didn’t fully understand it.
So GOD… I am expecting great things! What miracle is next?
Questions for Consideration.
God, thank you for how you show up and call to us and speak out our names in invitation. Might we say yes to your unbelievable work in our world and might we, with our lives, be the answer to the prayers for your kingdom coming here on earth as it is in heaven. For as Joan of Arc once said: “Act. Then God will Act.” Might we live and act in faith in the God of the miraculous. AMEN.