Bodies are important to God because they are sites of healing, transformation, touch, and comfort. Nobody—no body—is disqualified from the work of God-bearing.

As Mary bore Jesus into the world, so must we. For as this scripture in Hebrews reminds us, God’s plan has always been a body. Now, as Christ’s body in the world, it is up to the church to embody that plan. It is up to you and me to fulfill that promise. We are reminded here that we are made holy through Jesus’ work in our midst.

We are all called to the work of birthing God’s new world, of nurturing the hope of restoration, of bringing forth life and light through the labor pains that come with it. If we look for the wisdom of our created, holy bodies, that wisdom may bring us closer to our holy Creator. We will see it in the caress of a caregiver’s hand, in the elbow offered to steady a swaying companion, in the gaze of compassion that follows the moment when a loved one divulges something held close in their heart. This is not to say that this embodied work is easy. We must consider, too, the bleeding of birth, the sleeplessness of round-the-clock care, and the pain that comes from watching loved ones struggle. But the body of Christ—our individual bodies and the church’s collective body—has been Plan A for God all along. We serve as God-bearers never in spite of but always because of who we are. A body, prepared for God.

God, thank you for my body. Help me to honor the wisdom in my body. Thank you for the chance to be a God-bearer. Amen.

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

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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.