I'm sure she heard the whispers; she noticed the heads turning away to avoid eye contact with her. What gave her the courage to carry this Child in the face of such disgrace?What were her thoughts as she traveled with Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem, being great with child?
The journey must have been physically difficult and emotionally demanding. What was the source of her comfort along this predetermined path?Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Worshippers around the world will light the first candle ~ the Candle of Hope, as we recognize that our longings, our desires and our hope are found in the Babe of Bethlehem.
Mary was most likely well aware of the writings of the prophets. Perhaps she found great courage in the words of Isaiah ~
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.Possibly she received comfort as she focused not on the pain of the present but on the promise and potential found in the Child she carried.
In His name the nations will put their hope.Hope ~ the anticipation of a good yet to come.
As I come alongside individuals desperately seeking peace with loss, HOPE is fundamental. It is perhaps the essential value for survival ~ a source of courage and comfort ~ as one negotiates a pathway of grief. Hope brings into view a purpose for living in the face of loss. Hope enlightens our awareness that a relationship of memory creates a legacy to be embraced. Hope conveys anticipation that we can be transformed and not destroyed by our loss.
Hope ~ the anticipation of a good yet to come.
May today's Candle of Hope illuminate for you a good yet to come.