One of the past Sundays during worship we read the scripture of Mary's encounter with Elizabeth and we sang Mary's Song together after the sermon was over. Bits of it have been running through my mind ever since. As I sat in the sanctuary, feeling my own little one moving inside of me, I felt connected to Mary in a unique way. I thought of the reality of her pregnancy, of her giving birth in less-than-sanitary conditions, traveling a long distance on foot or on the back of a donkey at nine months pregnant, no one other than her fiance to help her birth her baby. The entry of Jesus into this world was certainly less than majestic. But that's what I love about it: the dirt and grime and blood and crying. It's real and gritty and the story shows that God chose to enter this world as one of the least of these. Humble. Innocent. Vulnerable.
Advent has taken on a new meaning for me this year as I await my own child to enter the world. In the past I've been awed by the elusive mystery and wonder of the Advent season. This year, I'm fixated on the reality of a pregnant Mary and the birth of a baby boy. I'm pondering the new life and the new relationship between a young mother and her son. Yes, there is so much more to the person of Jesus, but this year it has been special to focus on him as an infant, fiercely loved by his proud mom.