During this season, prophecy can feel extraordinarily close, just at the tips of our fingers. We can marvel at a child in a manger. We can relate to the struggle of breathing through pain as something new is born.

Our congregations are full of people who know, down to their bones, what labor and birth feel like. Our congregations are full of people who know the kind of suffering, sacrifice, loss and joy that are present in this holy season of expectation surrounding the birth of Christ. But likewise our congregations are full of people longing for that knowledge, but feeling shut out. Through miscarriage or loss, illness or lack of a partner, there are many for whom this season of waiting and birthing language is difficult and complicated.

But we are not without wisdom, and we are not without hope.

As we speak to our Christian family during this time of expectation, as we talk of labor and birth and baby Jesus, let us not forget that these are words and experiences etched in flesh, in the deepest desires of our hearts. Let us attend to the many labors of love that bring forth our common life together, and let us make room for the wisdom of the birthing and mothering bodies in our midst, whatever form they may take.

God of the laboring, God of the loss, God of danger and birth, Bring forth in us now a new hope. Though it may start small and fragile, Help us to nurture it well. Give us ears to hear from those gasping for life, And shape us into midwives for your world to come. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 1:39-55

0 Comments
Log In to leave a comment
Lectionary Week
December 13–19, 2021
Scripture Overview

As Christians we understand that our faith is rooted in the ongoing story of God’s faithfulness to God’s people. Micah celebrates this story, prophesying that the true king of Israel will one day come from the small village of Bethlehem, Jesus’ birthplace. Luke features women prominently throughout his Gospel. The two readings from Luke this week highlight the prophetic insights of Elizabeth and Mary. Mary visits Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John, God’s messenger. After Elizabeth identifies Mary as the mother of the Lord, Mary breaks into song, understanding that her story is tied to the fulfillment of God’s promises going back to Abraham. Little does she know that her son will one day offer his body as a sacrifice for all, as Hebrews tells us.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Micah 5:2-5a. What small beginnings have yielded great results in your life?
Read Psalm 80:1-7. What is your song of praise to God today? How will you share it?
Read Hebrews 10:5-10. How does your body help you to experience God?
Read Luke 1:39-55. How has God spoken to you through a joyous meeting with another person?

Respond by posting a prayer.