It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Unexpected blessings, a Reflection on Luke 1:39-42

The angel Gabriel came directly to Zechariah and to Mary. Each of then responded initially in disbelief. Pause here for a moment to be grateful that God's message is not easily deflected by our inability or unreadiness.

Although Mary, when visited by God's messenger, was able to voice her acceptance, Zechariah was not. He returned home to his wife Elizabeth, who did conceive, as Gabriel had foretold (1:4-24). Pause here to be grateful that God can carry out work in us even is we find that work to seem difficult or impossible.

Elizabeth, who had been long barren, was now carryig a child. The first readers of Luke could see her story as one of hope for Israel. They had suffered a long time of barrenness. Yet, they had hope that God would restore then to their designated role.

Elizabeth can continue to be a model for all who read about her in Luke's gospel of how we can respond to God's gifts and challenges. When her young pregnant cousin appears, Elizabeth immediately is affected. Her child, who will be known as John the Baptist, leaps in her womb. And she is filled with the Holy Spirit.

Mary had made the physical journey. Elizabeth has remained at home. They both are blessed. They both recognize the blessings in the other. Pause here to consider what work you are capable of doing right where you are and what work would be worth it for you to move around some.

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