Where God dwells

Pencil Preaching for Wednesday, December 21, 2022

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“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Luke 1:45).

Song 2:8-14; Luke 1:39-45

The story of Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth has echoes of another story, when the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem. Just as John leaps in his mother’s womb at the approach of Mary, so David danced before the Ark, the symbol of God’s presence on earth. What else can we do in the presence of God but leap for joy?

What better way to authenticate the promise of the angel to Mary than her journey to visit her elderly cousin, also with child. The embrace of these two women is the joy of the Gospel. Mary’s Magnificat proclaims that God keeps every promise, especially to the poor and the oppressed.

Despite its rich theological intent, the Christmas story endures because it is like a familiar dream. We want lives touched by love. We believe that truth and goodness will triumph over adversity and arrogance. Humble shepherds and mysterious wisdom figures are the appropriate witnesses to God’s surprise entrance into our world.

Do we believe it? Christmas will not intrude without our faith. To imagine it is to open our lives to a mystery that waits only for our consent to become flesh in us. Where are the children, lovers and dreamers who welcome God? That is where the divine dwells.

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