Category Archives: Advent

Pondering Mary and Elizabeth

sculpture_of_mary_and_elizabeth
By Anton 17 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Luke 1:35-44 (CEV)
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. 36 Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. 37 Nothing is impossible for God!”
38 Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 A short time later Mary hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea. 40 She went into Zechariah’s home, where she greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her baby moved within her.
The Holy Spirit came upon Elizabeth. 42 Then in a loud voice she said to Mary:
God has blessed you more than any other woman! He has also blessed the child you will have. 43 Why should the mother of my Lord come to me? 44 As soon as I heard your greeting, my baby became happy and moved within me.

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months. Then she went back home.

Listening to this account again yesterday something struck me that I’d never thought of before and I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard discussed or preached on.

If Mary went to visit Elizabeth when she was “in her sixth month” and stayed three months, would she have been there for the birth of John the Baptist.

I mused this question on Twitter this morning and got this great reply

Just wondering if anyone else has any thoughts on the question…

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No Room #Advent

I discovered these Advent videos from WordLive (which is in itself a great daily bible study resource) – better late then never on my behalf,  but there’s still chance to catch up.

Watching today’s brought a thought that had never crossed my mind before.  We are used to seeing Nativities where poor Joseph goes knocking on many doors, be they inn-keepers or family members doesn’t really matter.  The bible passage (Luke 2:1-7) doesn’t actually mention that search, only that there was no room at the inn, but it has become enough of the ‘accepted’ account of the birth narratives that it can at least give us pause to think.

Anyway, all this is a roundabout way of getting to my question:

How many people had the opportunity, if only they knew it, for the son of God to be born in their lives, and turned him away?

How many people turned Joseph away – and with him that chance?  (Joseph) stands at the door and knocks.  Will we help?  Let him in?  We may be turning away the opportunity to welcome Christ if we turn away the stranger or those in need of shelter – and what blessings we will receive if we let them into our life.

Is there room in me to answer that knock, to find a space – or will I turn him away, for I have no room?  Will I close the door in the face of God when he comes knocking – or fling it wide?

Lord
may I realise
the opportunities you give me.
When I see inconvenience,
disturbance and mess,
may I realise
that it is you asking,
you waiting to come in.

Lord
I want to welcome you,
may I not miss the opportunity
by thinking I have no room,
but answering the knock
and welcoming you in.

Ready? #Advent

Aleksander Ivanov - The Apparition of Christ to the People (PR)
Is this him?
The One we’ve been waiting for?
Is this The One God promised
who would rescue us
and take us home?
Is this God’s Chosen
showing us his ways,
telling us what God would have us do?

We are desperately looking for someone,
so in need of a hand to guide,
a shepherd to lead,
a leader to take us home.

Is he coming?
Shall we still wait?
will he come
and take us,
show us,
live in us?

He is coming.
But in his coming
there will be changes to make,
different ways of thinking
and living.
Generous ways,
selfless acts,
not wanting more
than is yours,
living
and helping others to live too.

Oh yes he is coming –
but are you really ready
for what that will mean?
It’s reality in your life,
what will be asked of you?

Are you ready for him to come?

The theme for the third week in Advent is The Lord’s Anointed.  We look to the one who is to come.

Luke 3:7-18 (CEV)

Crowds of people came out to be baptized, but John said to them, “You bunch of snakes! Who warned you to run from the coming judgment? Do something to show that you really have given up your sins. Don’t start saying that you belong to Abraham’s family. God can turn these stones into children for Abraham. An axe is ready to cut the trees down at their roots. Any tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire.”

10 The crowds asked John, “What should we do?”

11 John told them, “If you have two coats, give one to someone who doesn’t have any. If you have food, share it with someone else.”

12 When tax collectors came to be baptized, they asked John, “Teacher, what should we do?”

13 John told them, “Don’t make people pay more than they owe.”

14 Some soldiers asked him, “And what about us? What do we have to do?”

John told them, “Don’t force people to pay money to make you leave them alone. Be satisfied with your pay.”

15 Everyone became excited and wondered, “Could John be the Messiah?”

16 John said, “I am just baptizing with water. But someone more powerful is going to come, and I am not good enough even to untie his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 His threshing fork is in his hand, and he is ready to separate the wheat from the husks. He will store the wheat in his barn and burn the husks with a fire that never goes out.”

18 In many different ways John preached the good news to the people.

Wild and Lone the Prophet’s Voice