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There will be time, there will be time

by davesandel on December 22nd, 2021

Wednesday, December 22, 2021                                (today’s lectionary)

There will be time, there will be time

Miles and Jasper, Margaret and I sit and watch Jacqui Lawson’s London come to life on our computer screen. Day by day we traverse the season of Advent and move toward Christmas, listening to music, decorating a tree and playing games in the living room of a townhouse in downtown London, making special English treats and visiting all the parks and museums and cathedrals and palaces. We found a Christmas market and drank hot cocoa, we filled our larder with fresh flowers and carrots and apples and plums, and we are nearly ready for Christmas.


Day 1         Riding on the London Eye

Day 2         Riverside Christmas Market Stalls

Day 3         Tower Bridge Rises for Three Ships

Day 4         Dancing at the Globe Theater

Day 5         Recipe Book

Day 6         More Christmas Riverside Market Stalls

Day 7         Lord’s Cricket Game

Day 8         Covent Garden Flower and Vegetable/Fruit Market Stalls

Day 9         Beautiful Birds at the Kew Gardens

Day 10       Penguins at the London Zoo

Day 11       Snowballs at Kensington Gardens

Day 12       Winter Paintings at the Tate Museum

Day 13       Polar Bear Swim in the Serpentine Pool

Day 14       Dress Rehearsal at Royal Albert Hall

Day 15       Boat Trip on the Thames

Day 16       Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square

Day 17       Big Ben and Midnight Preparations

Day 18       Buckingham Palace and Band

Day 19       Choir at Westminster Abbey

Day 20       Christmas Dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History

Day 21       Feasting at the Coffee Shop

Day 22             and what will we do today?

Day 23

Day 24

Day 25


And, as on most days this month, I am happy to move from all the activity and travel and good food and fun, into a quiet time where darkness falls, as the silence in our apartment becomes deeper and full, as the stories the Lectionary shares with us come to life. Shall we not see Hannah, and Eli, and Samuel in our dreams? Will Elizabeth and Mary visit us as they visited each other? The songs they sing echo in my own life, and I remember much more than just the last 72 years.

Walk into the temple of the Lord at Shiloh.

Pardon, my Lord! As you live, my Lord, I am the woman who stood near you here, praying for this child, and the Lord granted my request. Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord. And she left Samuel there, with Eli.

How silent she must have been, walking away from her son. Knowing her promise must not be broken, the mother in her wanting so much to break it. Listening with the power of the Holy Spirit to God’s voice singing inside her.

The Lord puts to death and gives life; he casts down to the nether world; he raises up again. The Lord makes poor and makes rich, he humbles, he also exalts.

And she left Samuel there, with Eli.

Centuries later Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, and the Holy Spirit sings inside her too. Elizabeth and her third trimester baby boy sit and listen, glowing with joy. Nothing’s gonna stop this party. Jesus is coming, John is about to be born, and their mothers rejoice.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his lowly servant, and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

Almost majestic, these women overwhelm their surroundings. God’s power and glory pour through them. They don’t belong in the townhouses of London or the huts of Israel; they belong on the ramparts of heaven, calling out the strength and certainty of God, challenging evil and overcoming it.

God has mercy on those who fear him, in every generation. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones. He has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.

Like Hannah, Mary moves on.

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.

Like Hannah and Mary, we move on too. Advent darkness gives way to morning sun, to another brilliant blue sky with no thought of snow, to activities and carols, cooking, cleaning and wrapping a few last gifts, and to traffic and headaches too. But in the evening we will walk on with Mary and Joseph toward Bethlehem, we will arrive on time, and we will find a place there for Mary to give birth to Jesus, then to sleep, perchance to dream.

(1 Samuel 1, 1 Samuel 2, Luke 1)

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