Sunday, November 28, 2021

Blessed are you among women....

I awake early remembering that this is the day we set out. It is still dark and a thousand thoughts flood into my head about the trip ahead.  Mary and Joseph seemed a little gruff with each other last night.  It does seem pretty dumb that they have to travel like almost 100 miles on foot just so the Roman Emperor can count them. It isn't going to be easy with Mary so pregnant and their donkey is often not onboard with going where it's told.  We have decided not to travel through Samaria which adds a chunk to the trip.  I don't know what we'll eat or where, or where we'll sleep.  We don't have a lot of money for Holiday Inns even if they existed.  Fortunately, I suppose, we aren't going to look like wealthy travelers who would attract the attention of robbers.

I am quite in awe of Mary.  When she was a young girl, could either of her parents have imagined that she would grow into a young woman that God would choose to have bear the Christ Child?  What an extraordinary one-of-a-kind soul that takes.  Or does it? The pure Biblical witness (separate from the theological stumblings and ramblings of men drunk on and corrupted by power, greed, violence, and dominance) tells us we have been beloved, held, cared for from the beginning -- all of us. Furthermore, if we choose, are we not all called to take on the job of bearing the Christ Child to the world? How many of us refuse the offer?

Mary grabbed this vision with both hands and never looked back.  From a careful looking backwards into the Middle Eastern culture of her time many scholars have discerned that she was likely quite young - very young, in fact, for making such a monumental decision that would carry her to places she had no idea where it would lead.  She allowed Love to have an authority over what many of us would call "all common sense."  This decision did not win her wealth or success by worldly standards that spell out "what counts" in life.  But if her success is measured on how she is still known and revered in almost every corner of the earth two thousand years later, there are very few who can claim such a success.

The sun is up and it is time to set out for Bethlehem.  I am in the best of company today as I look forward to my day.  I wonder who else we'll meet on the way?  Stay tuned.

And Mary said,

"My soul proclaims your greatness, O God, and my spirit rejoices in you, my Savior, because you have looked with favor on the humble condition of your lowly servant.  Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, because you, the Mighty One, have done great things for me, and holy is your name.  Your mercy is from generation to generation for those who fear you.  You have shown strength with your arm.  You have scattered the proud in their conceit; you have deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places.  You have filled the hungry with good things, while you have sent the rich away empty. You have come to the aid of Israel, your servant, mindful of your mercy -- The promise you made to our ancestors, to Sarah and Abraham and their descendants forever."  (Luke 1: 46-55  IB*)  

*The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation,       

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