An Advent Devotion for December 20
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Luke 1:41
We know little of Mary, only that she was a young woman/ engaged to Joseph. One wonders what it was about Mary that God chose her. Was it an openness, a love for God? Humility? Was it her strength – her endurance – a mother’s love already buried in her heart that would give her strength to protect her child? Mary would need to be strong as Jesus grew.
I remember another mother -standing over an isolette watching her first son – knowing the difficulty ahead for him. I remember her face. I remember the concern and the pain in her eyes as she shared in her son’s struggle for life. I remember too the joy of each milestone -each battle won – each day which came that was another day, she had not expected him to see.
Beyond the first joy of a child being born into the world, Mary would experience painful moments with her son. There would be times when he would completely mystify her. He would see the world and his place in it differently than Mary had hoped and planned for him. She would wish that life was easier for him. Mary would celebrate the good moments always wondering what the words of promise meant. When her cousin Elizabeth said to her, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” She would remember how Elizabeth said that her own child “leaped for joy” at the sound of Mary’s voice. It would take great faith to walk the difficult journey from Bethlehem, to Egypt, Nazareth and Jerusalem.
Mary reminds us of all mothers who have suffered with a child, grieved over a child’s loneliness or illness . . . All mothers who have wept for a child’s pain.
Prayer: God, you hear the cries of all mothers who weep over their children. You know the pain of a child’s death and the pain of a mother dying. Comfort those who grieve. Give hope to mothers whose children are sick or hungry. Grant wisdom to mothers whose children are confused or frightened. Grant courage to mothers who live in abusive situations and need to protect their children from injury. To all mothers, pour out your blessings and all the gifts they need today. Amen.
Additional Advent & Christmastide Devotions can be found by clicking here: Advent & Christmastide Devotions