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Advent with Theotokos, Week 1
A meditation on the Nativity through the Mother of God
Happy first day of Advent, my fellow sojourners! May we all ready ourselves to dip into four weeks of reflection, finding a home in the darkness as we watch for the light.
Since much of my work this year has centered on motherhood, in both human and divine constructs, it seemed only natural that this Advent I would revisit the age-old Christmas story through the eyes of the mother of God. This is the first of a five-part meditation series you will receive every Sunday of Advent and on Christmas Day.
The historical Church dubbed Mary “Theotokos” or “mother of God” in the year 431 A.D. This Advent, let us fix our gaze on the Holy and Eternal One through the eyes of Theotokos. Let us expect to see new things about ourselves and about our God through the woman who became the Ark of the Covenant.
A note: to get the maximum benefit from this meditation, save it for a time when you can give it your full attention. Find a peaceful place to sit, have a journal and pen handy, perhaps light a candle, and take an internal posture of prayer, expecting the Spirit to stir something within you that is relevant to your own life. If you would prefer an audio version, just reply to this email and let me know.
The angel Gabriel made her an offer she could refuse.
The possibility was the point.
And she said yes.
She said yes when she could have said no.
When she could have said find someone else.
Inhabit someone else
Glory someone else
Doom someone else.
Its all too easy to imagine Mary as
when what she exhibits in the text is
She has agency
and she chooses the way of radical love;
to birth God,
to unite her flesh to that which never began and will never end.
What then, is our invitation,
yours and mine?
How are we offered the chance to say yes
when we could just as easily say no
and miss incarnation?
Have we misunderstood courage?
Have we confused freedom with duty?
Have we believed in the possibility of
uniting our flesh to the living God?
For what if possibility was the point?