This devotion comes to us from Linda Haubold. You can read it below or listen to her deliver it by using the audio player below.
Waiting is in not highly valued in our culture. But, I have been told that there is one time of waiting that can be filled with miraculous hope. The waiting time I am talking about is pregnancy.
Our Advent story reports two pregnancies. We read the announcement of Elizabeth’s pregnancy in Luke 1:24 and the announcement of Mary’s pregnancy in Luke 1:31. Two women, beloved by God, called to conceive, grow and birth boy babies each with a divine calling. I am continually blessed by the way in which the lives and pregnancies of these women intersect. We are told that as soon as Mary conceived and learned of Elizabeth’s pregnancy she traveled to her older cousin’s house. And for three months they were together sharing the miracle of the birth process. Here’s what happened when Mary arrived at Elizabeth home.
Now at this time Mary arose and went with haste to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed among women are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.” Luke 1 39-44
Two pregnancies … Two women … immersed in holy waiting.
In her book, The Vigil, Wendy Wright states, “… the waiting of pregnancy is like the waiting we do for God. Like an unborn child, the life of God grows unseen yet profoundly felt. Insistently pushing and prodding us, enlarging the contours of our lives and our hearts, as intimate to us as our own breathing, yet utterly other, the divine presence waits to be born in us.”
The divine presence waits to be born in us!! … As we symbolically wait for the birth of Christ, we can actively participate in God’s “pushing and prodding us, enlarging the contours of our lives and hearts.”
I find these thoughts powerfully expressed in Luci Shaw’s poem, “Salutation”
Salutation by Luci Shaw
Framed in light,
Mary sings through the doorway.
Elizabeth’s six-month joy
jumps, a palpable greeting.
A hidden first encounter
between son and Son.
And my heart turns over
when I meet Jesus
The divine presence is waiting to be born in you this Advent.