Archive for December, 2010

Last year my church choir sang an anthem that stayed with me for weeks.  When the season of Advent returned this year, I quickly recollected the song. I was excited when it was, once again, selected as one of the choir anthems for Christmas.  “Mary, Did You Know?” was written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Green and has been recorded by numerous artists since 1992.

The music is memorable to sing but the lyrics are what keep coming back to me. I share them here as a spiritual reflection. Read the verses through, slowly and out loud.  Pause if you speak a word that engages your imagination or invites a question. Revisit these lyrics over the next weeks and permit yourself to live into the mystery of Christ’s coming into the world; what I will call the ‘lingering gifts waiting to be opened.”  Let me know what you think. Grace and peace from my home to yours.

Mary, Did You Know?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water? Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to the blind man? Mary, did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with His hand? Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? And when you kiss your little baby, you’ve kissed the face of God?

Did you know the blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again! The lame will leap, the dumb will speak the praises of the Lamb!

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation? Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations? Mary, did you know that your baby boy was heaven’s perfect Lamb? And the sleeping child your’re holding, He is the great I AM!

Did you know? Did you know? Did you know His name is JESUS.

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Advent Hope

illustration by Daniel Boyles 2001

Our Advent challenge is to seek and find Christ in our world just as it is, not as we wish or even pray it might be. In the words of Thomas Merton, the “fact that the world is other than it might be does not alter the truth that Christ is present in it and His plan has neither been frustrated nor changed: all will be done according to His will.”  Our Advent is the celebration of this hope. “What is uncertain,” writes Merton, “is not the coming of Christ but our own reception of Him, our response to Him and our own readiness and capacity to go forth to meet Him.” Our Advent is much  more than a rehearsal of traditional cultural practices or a nostalgic return to our childhood memories, be they rich or poor. The coming of Christ conveys a sense of God’s presence in our past experiences not for memory’s sake but to find fulfillment in the present and to point us to the new and transforming possibilities of receiving Christ in any and all moments for the sake of our future.

Thomas Merton, Seasons of Celebration

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Gracious God:

Help me to prepare my heart as faithfully as Mary, to be a place of hospitality, awaiting the re-presentation of Christ in my life.

Help me, I pray, to be obedient like Joseph as I journey these next weeks by faith.

Help me, Lord, to be watchful like the shepherds, with new eyes; anticipating the coming of Christ’s light, anew, in the midst of all I see.

Increase my faith, Lord, so I may freely share the hope and love of Christ with others, as confidently as your angels, singing ‘Glory to God’, through Jesus the Christ.      Amen and Amen

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