FOURTH WEEK OF ADVENT
Rev. Wallace W. Robbins
Scripture Reading: Luke 1:38
Focus Quote: Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Across the frozen fields of a distant past, brought very close by faith, there plods a young woman, heavy with child, leaning for support upon a kind and loving husband. The couple are going toward Bethlehem, a town that is everyman's home town no matter the place of his birth. There is a lighted, warm inn and there is a dark stable in a cave. There are many people in that town, but in the cave which awaits the couple there is no human witness prepared to meet the holy night to come.
Poor ragged Joseph, poor man of a poor land; gentle Mary, frightened and exalted with an unknown promise; these two alone, unwanted, walking to Bethlehem once again: shall they be better received than at the first? Is there a place for them in the gayly lighted windows of our shops, and will our children be blessed by a return to holy love? Will the old happiness of other Christmases be here in this to come? Will old bitternesses and estrangements give way to peace and good will?
O God, help our hearts to answer. Prepare us to welcome the ancient couple, ever new, but most of all to recognize them when they come.