Grace and Peace to you.
Next week Beth and I expect to become grandparents. Right along with our son and daughter in law we are patiently, joyfully Expecting. And so, I might add, are you.
In our literally minded tradition this day, March 25, nine months before Christmas, has been observed as the day of the miraculous conception of Jesus. The angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will have a child, she consents, and at that moment, apparently, she conceives. It’s an odd blending of faith and biology, but let’s go with it.
Our faith is imbued with a deep sense of the sacredness of time even more than space. History is not just a string of events but the unfolding of a blessing. Each moment bears a promise. No matter what difficult struggles we face, Love has provided for our salvation, and the salvation of the world, long before. Faith is simply expecting that.
The seed of future grace is hidden in the present moment, buried in the world around you, planted in your life, emerging within you. Today God is creating something wonderful in you that you will not see come to fruition for a long time, that you can’t even be sure of for a while. But it’s there. Something holy, something promising—something promised. It’s not random or impersonal; it comes from somebody, from the Beloved. Because it is the Beloved, God’s presence within you. It will grow slowly. Some pain and labor will come before your joy is complete. There will be times when it is difficult, and maybe even times when you wish it weren’t true. But grace is unfolding within you. That’s a promise. Hope is not wishful thinking, but Expecting—like Mary, consenting to a promise.
Rejoice, beloved. The Lord is with you. You have found favor with God. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore what is within you will will be holy. Say, then, with Mary, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
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