December 21, 2014
Amy Hoover
Creighton University Retreat Center
click here for photo and information about the writer


Fourth Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 11

2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16
Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27-29
Romans 16:25-27
Luke 1:26-38

Praying Advent

Today's Daily Advent Prayer

Student Weekly Reflection for today

There are so many themes for reflection in today’s readings; the new and old Ark of the Covenant, Mary’s fiat, Jesus as the heir of David to name a few.   I felt drawn to spend some time exploring the idea of co-creation that Mary models for us.  What do I mean by this?   So often we hear people talk about trusting God in this way: God will take care of everything, leave it in God’s hands etc.  It is good to trust in God, be faithful and true but I think sometimes we can take it to extremes and throw up our hands or disengage from life, thinking that God will take care of everything and we are just along for the ride.  I think Mary shows us differently.

In Mary’s experience, she is afraid but chooses to trust God and says “may it be done to me according your word.”  But she doesn’t walk away.  She and God together are creating.  God chooses to come into the world through Mary.  God chooses to need her help.  Mary, for her part chooses to allow God to use her, to be God’s vessel of the Incarnation.  This is what we are called to do as well.

You might ask how?  After all, we have not been overwhelmed with virgin births.  An example may help. 

I have been writing reflections on scripture for several years.  I learned early on that when I prayed, asked the Spirit to help, things generally went better than when I did not.  This has developed into somewhat of a routine for me now.  A few days prior, I read the assigned scriptures and just sit with them quietly, noticing what may bubble up for me, what causes me to cringe or respond in some other way.  At first, I used to try then to sit down and write right away.  But over the years, I have found that if I just let the scriptures bubble and pray for what God would have me say, when I do sit down to write, the words tend to just flow out.  I would say that the reflection is then an example of co-creating with God.  I didn’t do it on my own.  God used me and my openness to convey a message.  We created together.  In this way, I feel I am participating in the Incarnation.

Roland Rolheiser, in his book The Holy Longing, talks about how the Incarnation was not a 33 year event that took place 2000 years ago.  It is an ongoing mystery that we are called to participate in as Christians.  In a very real way, we are called to put “skin” to our prayers of “Your will be done.”  We are called to be the comforter to the dying, the support for the lonely and lover of the hated. 

So today, as we approach the celebration of the Incarnation, I invite us to consider how can we, right now, bring Christ to the world in whatever we are doing?  How are we, like Mary, called to co-create with God and bring Christ to the world and live out the Incarnation?  May we let the Holy Spirit come upon us and the power of the Most High overshadow us and empower us to be Christ’s body here on earth.

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