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Advent IV: Pregnant Living

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” (Gabriel to Mary, Luke 1:31)


“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Mary to Gabriel, Luke 1:38)


Inconceivable.


The immortal, eternal, boundless Second-Person-of-the-Trinity enters the egg within Mary’s fallopian tube, and the genes of the conceived Son are set. Within 24 hours the cells of the once fleshless Word begin to multiply, as the Life within Mary moves into her uterus and the Light of the world is implanted in the darkness of her womb. Mary literally is pregnant with the Presence of God. In nine months, on a not so silent night, she will painfully birth her very human child, and name him Jesus – “The Lord Saves.”


Those nine months are Mary’s season of Advent, a literal Pregnant Living as she, Joseph, Israel, and the whole world wait for the coming of Jesus. Mary carries on with her daily life – shopping, cleaning, preparing for her marriage to Joseph, visiting Elizabeth, beginning the week-long journey to Bethlehem. And yet every movement and moment, action and relationship, now includes the presence of the One in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9). Soon, He will be present to save.


Inconceivable.


In our own Advent, two thousand years or so later, we carry on with our daily lives. As those who have joined with Mary in saying “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word,” we too share in Pregnant Living. “In Jesus you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God,” writes Paul. “Do you not know that…God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (Ephesians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 3:16). Wherever and whenever we are, whatever we are doing with whomever, the presence of God is there within us, ready to enter that circumstance or relationship…and save.


Inconceivable.


“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” (Inigo to Vizzini, The Princess Bride)


“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God-With-Us].” (God to Israel…and the world…and you, Isaiah 7:14)


With God, the inconceivable is conceivable. Literally.


Your Pastor in Christ,