In some ways the beginning of Advent is an ode to Parents. The women becoming mothers, the men bearing their own visions and dreams. But Advent does bring that focus on the women becoming mothers.
In I Samuel 2:1-10 we read about the story of Hannah. Hannah was a woman of God who prayed with fervor for her barren womb to be opened, and she became the mother of Samuel, the Prophet and Judge who would anoint David King. In fact the passage of 1 Samuel 2:1-10 is often called the Song of Hannah. It is a text of longing for the child within, and the model text for another passage famous this time of year.
In the tradition of Hannah, we find in Luke 1:46-55 a very famous text often called the Magnificat. It is a text of Mary – soon to be a mother herself – expressing her gratitude in a psalm of praise to God. Her hope, though, was not just for herself and for her unborn child, but for all people… for all generations. Her hope was for a time when oppression and scarcity would be a distant memory. Through our singing of the songs and telling of the stories of Mary’s little baby, who became Jesus of Nazareth – our brother, teacher, and Christ – we keep hope alive. We hope for the continued fulfillment of the promise, when justice and deliverance will be realized for all of Creation. “A light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.”
PRACTICE: We invite you today to look at these texts so foundational to the Advent season. Ponder them deep in your heart and soul. We invite you to write your own hymn of praise to God, a praise that acknowledges the coming of Jesus at Christmas which we anticipate this Advent Season. If writing a unique praise to God seems to daunting…then you are invited to re-write the Magnificat from Luke’s gospel in today’s language—who are the downtrodden today? Can you name them in prayer to God?
Today’s devotional is a collaboration featuring the thoughts and words of Rev. Mary Jo Bradshaw and Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas. Both of their bios can be found on the bios page.