Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nativity: Mary

5"x7" Oil on Canvas

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." 
—Luke 2:19

This week's reflection on the Nativity is focused on Mary. Like Joseph, how unfathomable must have been her thoughts, joys and concerns about mothering the Christ child. We know a bit more about Mary from the Gospels. We know of her beautiful song in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke (See my previous posting on the Magnificat). We know that she followed Jesus' ministry to the cross—and the resurrection. Of all of the passages about Mary in the scriptures, Luke 2:19 is my favorite. 

How we parents love to brag about our children. My facebook page is full of proud parent moments. How tempting it must have been for Mary to share the wonders her miraculous child. Even as the shepherds confirm the miracle of Emmanuel, Mary kept it all as treasures in her heart. 

The Iona community has a wonderful poem about the thoughts Mary could have been pondering in her heart:

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.

May we treasure up the Word of God and ponder the mystery of Emmanuel in our hearts.

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