Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mary Pondering - an Advent Reading

My son was born in early October, not a necessarily holy month or time. But as a pastor intending to go on maternity leave for about eight weeks, that meant that my September was immersed fully in Advent, preparing prayers, and worship services, candle lighting and manger scene organizing. I remember reflecting on that time, carrying that child in my body, that I was uniquely positioned (actually awkwardly positioned most of the time) to reflect on the anticipation and anxiety of Advent through the eyes of Mary.

Here is a beautiful reading from the Iona Community in Scotland that describes her expectations, her fears and her hopes.

What is this seed that God has planted,
unasked, uncompromised, unseen?
Unknown to everyone but angels
this gift has been.
And who am I to be the mother,
to give my womb at heaven’s behest,
to let my body be the hospice
and God the guest?

Oh, what a risk in such a nation,
in such a place, at such a time,
to come to people in transition
and yet in prime.

What if the baby I embody
should enter life deformed or strange,
unable to be known as normal,
to thrive or change?

What if the world, for spite, ignores him,
and friends keep back and parents scorn,
and every fear of every woman
in me is born?

Still, I will want to love and hold him,
his cry attend, his smile applaud.
I’ll mother him as any mortal,
and just like God.

 Iona Community. Cloth for the Cradle: Worship Resources and Readings for Advent. Christmas and Epiphany. Wild Goose Resources Group. 1997.

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