When the Scriptures are used maturely, and they become a precursor to meeting the Christ, they proceed in this order:
- They confront us with a bigger picture than we are used to, “God’s kingdom” that has the potential to “deconstruct” our false world views.
- They then have the power to convert us to an alternative worldview by proclamation, grace and the sheer attraction of the good, the true and the beautiful (not by shame, guilt or fear which are low-level motivations). “Attraction not promotion,” said Bill Wilson, cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
- They then console us and bring deep healing as they “reconstruct” us in a new place with a new mind and heart.
Preparing for Christmas (Richard Rohr)
Are we nearly there yet?
There can’t be a parent who hasn’t been asked that question. Usually as you’re backing out of your suburban Brisbane garage to drive to Sydney.
Are we nearly there yet?
Well yes, we’re nearly there. We’re almost at the stable, the baby Jesus will soon be born.
And as we’re nearly there, Luke gives us a story of Mary early in her pregnancy. Her very unexpected pregnancy. This was not on her radar!
So in dealing with this unexpected pregnancy, Mary does something you might expect. She hurries to see Elizabeth, also unexpectedly pregnant. But Elizabeth is older and has more experience of things. And she is a whole six months pregnant.
They talk. They talk about babies, but it’s not the usual conversation because these are not the usual babies. Elizabeth is carrying John, who was to be the forerunner of Mary’s son, Jesus.
Every baby is special, but these are two very special babies.
Mary and Elizabeth were not important women. Herod didn’t know them, Pilate had never heard of them. But God knew them, and chose them for a wonderful task. God chose a barren woman, and a young woman little more than a child herself.
If Elizabeth and Mary had been asked who would God choose to bring the Messiah and the Messiah’s herald into the world, they would have scratched their heads. I don’t believe they would say “Pick me, pick me!” More likely, they’d wonder which great lady in a royal palace would get do this. If they were lucky, they might be allowed to become a servant in that great lady’s household.
But no. They were the chosen ones. A barren woman and a girl.
It’s God’s decision who God chooses. He may choose you. This Advent, this Christmas, watch; wait; listen. It may be you.