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Let it be done unto me

by davesandel on December 10th, 2021

Wednesday, December 8, 2021                      (today’s lectionary)

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Let it be done unto me

The man called his wife Eve, and she became the mother of all the living.

Walter Wangerin reminds me of my smallness, and then of all that matters in my one small shining life:

So here you are, my friend – this year, this day, this particular moment – bowed down in meditations and preparing for the coming of the Lord. This tick in your Advent clock: how insignificant it seems in the order of things, yes? But it isn’t – and you are not! … Did you think you were little in the universe? Ah, but look how God has used the universe to bring you here. Like any miracle of God, you have been nurtured in love through all the ages unto this instant, this breath you now are drawing, this present beating of your heart, this thought, this faith, this prayer …

The pastor tells me that first Abraham and Sarah, and then Zechariah and Elizabeth are the only couples mentioned in the Bible who were too old and barren but still they had a child. God made a covenant with the first couple, and then with the second, the “final covenant of grace … all history is, like a woman in labor, concentrating on this single, central event, the coming of the Son of God among us … the birth of that light into the world (an event midway between Abraham and you) illumines all our human history, making this particular moment, too, incandescent with meaning.”

Incandescence! In these temporal days I am captivated by the mix of shadow and light, and captured by the battle between good and evil, within me and without. But at noon the sun shines straight down and there is no shadow. At God’s High Noon, there will be nothing to captivate or capture me, but only the sun, the Son, the eternal everlasting goodness of God. Not yet, Paul says. Now you see only as reflection in a mirror, but later face to face, you will see the light that shines incandescent, but does not blind.

The angel Gabriel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” And she said to Gabriel, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done according to your word.”

So I slide along through my days and hours, catching a slippery grip on whatever feelings and thoughts God has for me. Do not trouble yourself about tomorrow, Jesus tells me again and again. Today has enough. More than enough. Today is all there is, life is given in you for you to share with your community, as they share with you, none of us alone.

God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him.

Last night we spilled a jar of White-Out. On our clothes, skin, vinyl floor, on the desk and filing cabinet. White-Out, meant to remove blemishes and mistakes, now itself needs to be removed. I can’t help but think of my own singly blemished soul. All my days of scrubbing, polishing, examining, repairing … ah, for what? To start again tomorrow?

No, when I appear holy and without blemish before him, that will be because God chose to make me that way. Only God.

The angel departs from Mary, and her journey to motherhood begins. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb: Jesus.

Of his kingdom, there will be no end.

 (Genesis 3, Psalm 98, Ephesians 1, Luke 1)

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