Thursday, December 6, 2012
From my Advent reading today:
Jesus observed, 'Without me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Yet we act, for the most part, as though without us God can do nothing. We think we have to make Christmas come, whic is to say we think we have to bring about the redemption of the universe on our own. When all God needs is a willing womb, a place of safety, nourishment, and love.
"Oh, but nothing will get done," you say. "If I don't do it, Christmas won't happen." And we crowd out Christ with our fretful fears.
God asks us to give away everything of ourselves. The gift of greatest efficacy and power that we can offer God and creation is not our skills, gifts, abilities and possessions. The wise men had their gold, frankincense, and myrrh, Paul and Peter had their preaching. Mary offered only space, love, belief.
What is it that delivers Christ into the world - preaching, art, writing, scholarship, social justice? Those are all gifts well worth sharing. But preachers lose their charisma, scholarship grows pedantic, social justice alone cannot save us. In the end, when all other human gifts have met their inevitable limitation, it is the recollected one, the bold virgin with a heart in love with God who makes a sanctuary of her life, who delivers Christ who then delivers us.
- from the essay, "To Be Virgin" by Loretta Ross-Gotta
Printed in the wonderful Advent devotional, Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas.
With many thanks to my two special students, Salem & Tess, who gave this to me as a gift!