“Nothing is impossible to God.”

Luke 1:37

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Luke 1:26-38

The angel gives Mary the news, not only is she pregnant by the Holy Spirit, but her cousin Elizabeth who was well past child-bearing age is also pregnant.

God was doing something beyond understanding. One can only imagine the mix of feelings that must have been there for Mary: excitement, awe, overwhelm, and probably stunned by this graced awareness of God moving in ways outside of the ordinary.

Mary’s immediate longing is to spend time with her cousin Elizabeth who would be able to understand and share something of her amazement at what God was doing in her.

I often wonder about the conversations Mary and Elizabeth must have had in the three months that Mary spent in her home – each holding and cherishing what God was doing in them and one another. I imagine that they may have gone for walks. Perhaps as they did chores together, they spoke about how it felt for each of them to be carrying a child that was to play a significant role in God’s redemption of the world. I imagine that they would have talked about motherhood. Perhaps they made blankets for the new babies and felt the babies kick in each other’s wombs. 

They could not have fully understood, but they knew beyond a doubt that God was doing something unimaginable in and through them. That Elizabeth’s child was destined to herald a new reality and the son of Mary would be the Son of God. What a profound sense of responsibility and privilege there must have been. As they grappled with the awe-inspiring reality with each passing week of pregnancy, they must have echoed often the words of the angel: “Nothing is impossible to God.”

Where is God doing something beyond understanding in my life today? Do I stand in awe at his hand in the world around me?

Gracious God,

Sometimes we forget that for you, there is no impossible or unimaginable. May we be open to being stunned by grace.

Amen.

 
Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell has worked in the area of Ignatian Spirituality for 19 years and heads up the work of the Jesuit Institute School of Spirituality. Her primary focus is the training and supervision of spiritual directors and the giving of retreats. She is also a registered Psychologist and her PhD focused on the interface between Christian Spirituality and Psychology. Annemarie is an editorial advisor to “The Way” journal of Spirituality and has authored a number of articles relating to the training of Spiritual Directors in an African context. She has contributed to several books, most recently co-authoring a book of Lenten Reflections: “Long Journey to the Resurrection”. She has contributed to international conferences and consultations in Spirituality in the United Kingdom; the United States; Rome; Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

a.paulin-campbell@jesuitinstitute.org.za @annemariepc_c
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