Saturday

"Blessed are you among women." (v. 42)

Luke 1:39-45 Saturday 21 December 2013


Background

Elizabeth's pregnancy is well advanced when her cousin Marycomes with news of her own child to come. Here is the intersectionbetween the unexpected and the predictable. In Elizabeth's case thepregnancy was unexpected because she had long been reconciled to alife without children of her own, and then, surprise, surprise, shefinds herself with child. She moves from shame, anguish and fadinghope to startling and joyful realization. Down the centuries sinceAvram and Sarai looked ruefully at one another across their tent(Genesis 18:1-15) the stories of barrennesspatiently endured and finally fulfilled recur time and again.Elizabeth's delight for herself and her cousin, and her relief forherself, are so vivid! Mary, on the other hand, had no inkling thatshe would be pregnant at this point of her life; she was barelypromised in marriage to Joseph (Luke1:27).

Two women surprised by joy -one after interminable waiting, theother almost before she was ready for the experience. From a clearforward view of unfolding courtship, marriage and home-making to asudden storm of responsibilities whose scale seemed to grow as Marycontinued to reflect on this turn of events.

Two stories: one of faithfulness in waiting when hope had allbut died; the other, of faithfulness when the most shockingannouncement had come out of the blue and had been accepted withhumility.

Once the surprising pregnancies are established there is a sensethat nature takes a predictable and finite course. The biologicalclocks are ticking. Nothing can be done to speed them up or slowthem down. The births of these children can be predicted to withina few days. We have moved from dreamland to daybreak.


To Ponder

  • When you receive startling news, either wonderful ordesperately sad, is your first instinct to share the news withsomeone else? Or do you prefer to keep it to yourself? Ask yourselfwhy.
  • Are you more comfortable when every day is different and thereare crises to cope with, or when life is rhythmic and predictable?How does your faith help you prepare for times which take yououtside your comfort zone?
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