Sunday, December 23, 2007

My friend LaRue writes beautiful narratives each year giving us unusual glimpses into the human experience of our Savior. As this is the fourth Sunday of Advent, our candle is pink in Mary's honor. We give the mother of Jesus more attention today than we normally do. Since I'm trying to recover from a nasty cold and don't feel much like writing, I'll share one of LaRue's stories with you. It's posted on her blog, but I'll save you a click. Even though you didn't give me permission, Friend, I know how you love to share the Good News, so I'm sure you don't mind.

A small hand waved in the cold Bethlehem night...The infant had somehow escaped his swaddling...again. He seemed to be directing some unseen orchestra. Before she tucked him back into the warm strips of cloth, the young mother make sure he had ten toes. She smiled at his dimpled knees. And she wondered at such an aristocratic nose on such a tiny face. As his soft, tiny hand brushed her soft, nurturing hand, she checked there for fingers and thumb; and lingered to look at his palm. A scripture from Isaiah, one she’d heard her brother repeat, came to mind. “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands...” (Isaiah 49:16a nasb). This was the first of countless times in the next thirty-three years that she would ponder deep, hidden treasures in her heart. That same heart would turn over with laughter at a toddler’s antics; and catch in her throat with unshed tears when the crowds jeered him; and break half in two when she witnessed his death. But that was for later. For tonight, there was the joy of motherhood. She caught his tiny hand, tucked him close and knew she held a most precious gift in her arms...really.

O God, who hast taken to thyself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of thine incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of thine eternal kingdom; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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