I learned something new today, thanks to Wikipedia: Mary’s song in the book of Luke makes strong allusions to Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel 2:1-10, and if you have some time, go back to the first book of Sam and give it a read, then follow along with Mary in Luke 1:46-56. The parallels are fascinating as these two women – one who is unexpectedly pregnant at a very young age, and the other who has prayed to God for years to be blessed with a child – yet both songs praise God for the blessing of a child. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy, both women rejoice.
Here’s a little pregnancy poem, from my book Pruning Burning Bushes, that takes some of the language of Scripture and incorporates it into my own song, certainly no Magnificat, but a celebration and recognition of this mysterious and miraculous season.
My final incarnation,
word of hope made flesh
in me—the hour draws
nearer. Right now, you nudge
my ribcage with your hand,
or elbow, or knee. Season
of mystery, I drink
a glass of sweet tea
to feel you move in me…
If only joy always came
as easily. For now I am
by holiness, but soon
I will be an open wound,
abandoned, singular but
whole. Every living thing
must grieve as its last seeds
leave, like me, aware
that any blessings after this
will just be birthed on earth,
miracles delivered everywhere,
every ordinary day. No more
my pulse so close to yours.
No more will come
from this womb—it is time
to rejoice, time to mourn.
You are my last born.
“And Mary said:
‘My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.’
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.” – Luke 1:46-56
Advent Activity: Package Christmas Cookies
Tonight, we are supposed to wrap up the cookies we made and prepare them for delivery! This is one of the less exciting advent activities, and I have a strong feeling it will be me, in the kitchen, listening to Christmas music, with my Ziplocs, getting the cookies ready, while the kids play in the basement. Wee!
Published by Sarah M. Wells
Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018.
Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.
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