Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday in Advent 4

Luke 1:39-56
v. 41b-42 And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb."

From the very beginning of the church's life, these words have been extremely important and used in a devotion to Mary that has never waned.

Devotion to Mary was deep in English culture prior to the Reformation, so it is no wonder that the English Reformation did not completely do away with it. Nevertheless Anglicanism has always had a deep suspicion of excessive devotion, the treating of Mary as if she were on equal par with her son.

But these words from Luke's Gospel can still be vitally important for us, and many Anglicans (myself included) pray the "Hail Mary" or "Angelus" as a regular part of our devotional life (the words from Elizabeth above are central to this prayer).

Mary is one of us, called to bear God to the world. Her vocation is our vocation, for we too are called to be pregnant with God and deliver God to the world. The birth we are about to celebrate was not a one-time, isolated act in a small Palestinian town two millenia ago. It is an act that has been and is being repeated in the lives of countless Christians, including you and me. To whom are you called to deliver God these days?

No comments: