Tag Archives: mary

Story

Wednesday 21 December

 story

How stories fire the imagination. Old classics be they fairy tales or myths from legend. Expressions of humanity that underline significant desires to recognise the good, the potential and positives of life and our desire for them to be ‘right’.

A fine story sets the scene, sets down markers for us to equate ourselves alongside. Place, people and character information give us a sense of the narrative and make the whole tale personal to us.

When you look at Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth all these elements are laid out for us. The incarnation needs a place, a cast of characters and some  background.

We all know the traditional birth narrative. It is close to our hearts in its simplicity, but its familiarity may hide the stark and most important facts.

Looking with new eyes – within eternity God chose to place Jesus in a small town in Israel at a particular point in that country’s history. He was born to a specific mother in an unconventional family for the time. This birth was not heralded in a royal court, but in some dark, similarly insignificant countryside.

If there, if then, if……then why not to me, here in my unworthy circumstance.

That is the amazing point of the incarnation, it speaks of new possibilities.

As I read or hear the Christmas story anew, may   I see, my I know the desire of God to be a part   of my existence and the lives of those among whom I move. God of entity you are ultimately the God  of an infinite number of moments in time when you break into the human state. In Jesus, in me and  in my neighbour. Grant me grace to live as part  of your story. Amen

 

Advertisements

Hope Again

Saturday 17 December

hope

I return to hope again and its fundamental part of our preparation for Christmas.

We have a pattern in Mary of what is possible. Mary wasn’t chosen for her status, her intelligence or even her holiness. Mary was ‘overshadowed’ because of her hope that stood outside the boundaries of convention and society.

Hope in God the Father of Mary’s forebears, hope in Jesus, the answer to our desire for God close and the Holy Spirit, the hope of presence still. These are the themes of hope demonstrated in nativity scenes and carols describing closeness, closeness in this baby born to Mary.

May I say that, all my hope on God is founded; it is he who renews my trust. Me, through change and chance, he guides. For only He is good and true. For it is God unknown, he alone calls my heart to be his own. Amen.

 

The Weave

Friday 16 December

weave

There is a   drama series on TV and the first  moments of the current episode flashes the highlights of the previous week or weeks; the whys the wherefore, the questions and the cliff-hanger.

Mathew tells his narrative of Jesus’ birth through the prospective of Mary and the placing of her and Joseph’s experiences within a particular place and time in history.

There is weaving and intrigue as any live drama, but God’s hand is seen throughout.

Look again at events of the week – what are the headline for this week’s conversation with God?

As I look at the pattern of the news today, where can I place God in the pattern? In the needs of others? In their joys or success? How about in the justice or injustice a situation? As Jesus broke into human history revealing God’s hand, may I behold him today! Amen

 

Plain Life

Thursday 15 December

life

The smile from someone beloved; a bright and frosty day, crisp and brilliant; a conversation that makes your day shine; an unadulterated and beautifully   given gift or pleasure; anything in fact that makes your heart sing. This is the heart being magnified.

When the angel Gabriel told Mary that a special child would be born to her she was filled with joy. Mary sang a song that began with the words: “My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God  my Saviour.”

Prayer is not just about the angst of life, but also the brilliance of life. Prayer and worship needs intercession and yet it also need the praise that   expands the heart and our very being.

 May my soul magnify the Lord: as I see someone smile; in the bright moments of the day; through a conversation that makes my day shine; through an unadulterated and beautifully given gift or pleasure; when my heart sings may I recognise and respond to your hand O God and simply praise! Amen

 

Becoming

Wednesday 14 December

grace1

I remember, at various stages of my children’s lives, thinking what will they become.

In Mary we have someone who we are told stored up the events and images of Jesus as a baby, as a toddler and as a teenager into adulthood. Not recorded formally, but Jesus lived and grew and thrived.

And oh how Mary must have wondered!

Paul in his letter to the Romans to be read next Sunday wrote: ‘Through Christ we have received grace….’

This is one of the reasons Mary is revered, she saw and wondered. What perfect grace she received and was involved with on a personal level.

Help me Lord in the diversions of today, to   find that the perfect gift is given as you are a part of our lives. I pray for grace sufficient for today and sufficient to share with others. Amen

 

A Prayer for Closeness

Tuesday 13 December

marychild

My own children are all grown up now, I look back and think how unprepared we were for the arrival of our children.

We read the Old Testament foretelling of Mary’s desire to have her God with her, as Isaiah wrote: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.”

God so close he will be called Emmanuel – God with us. Look out for a pram and a baby, if you are lucky enough to have hold of one – recognise Mary’s hope.

Jesus, God with us, the answer to my feelings of isolation from God. With you close may I find your peace though my prayers and actions this day. Amen

 

Sensing God

Monday 12 December

heartbaby

Next Sunday’s focus is on Mary. There is thankful prayers around God ‘preparing’ Mary. Tied up in that preparation was her longing for God being ‘fleshy’ in terms of fully sensing God – seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting God.

Mary’s saying yes was having God as close as inside her own body and being.

Would we but dare to call for God to be so very close as Mary hoped.

Lord, on this day may I feel, may I know your presence, not just as a thought, but as a reality. May you be as close as Mary was to the child she carried. As I sense your very presence, may it change my livening, today, tomorrow and into this Christmas season. Amen