Carrying Christ

UnknownPerhaps because I have no children myself,  I am fascinated with the experiences of women who find themselves pregnant during Advent. I wonder what it would be like to carry a child while Mary is carrying hers, to dream the public dreams of Gods’s people — about redemption, about a better world, about hope — while, at the same time, carrying the private dreams of an expectant mother — dreams about health and safety, love and joy, crayons and marshmallows and school and snuggles.

This year, my friends Danielle and Eric are awaiting their first child, and Danielle shared what it was like. She wrote, “sometimes the anticipation of something is joy in itself (like Advent) and the reality can actually be pretty tough (sleepless nights, fears of illness, etc.). The hope Jesus offers us isn’t always an easy hope — maybe Advent is actually easier in that regard — especially since we know that Jesus dies, but it’s a risk worth taking.”

Two weeks ago, I was on retreat in Massachusetts, and there was an icon of the Virgin holding the infant Jesus. What I loved was that Mary looked exhausted — exactly like the mother of a newborn child who’s been getting up every two hours, all night, to feed him.

That does not diminish the joy. Those quiet hours are part of the love; they strengthen the bond of tenderness. But they are work all the imagessame, just as are the hours we spend on one another, listening, healing, tending the needs of strangers and of those we love. This Christmas, when you pause in those tasks, may you feel the presence of Christ, who is listening, healing, and tending you, even from his manger in the hay.

Have a blessed, joyful, and holy Christmas!

This entry was posted in The Rev. Dr. Deborah Meister and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Carrying Christ

  1. Laura says:

    Thank you for this lovely Advent/Christmas reflection, Deborah. And especially for your beautiful and very moving Christmas Eve sermon. Constable’s grand landscapes will now always remind me of his — and Our Father’s — grace-filled tenderness.

  2. Jo says:

    There is a wonderful book — and Advent favorite of mine, called “Awaiting the Child: an Advent Journal”. Author is Isabel Anders, I think. I first read it when I was pregnant during Advent and have done so almost every year since. Additional insight each time, and now with retrospect on just how hard raising children and then letting them go really is. I have gotten to know Mary in a new way.

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