Getting the Message

Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-11; Luke 1:46b-55; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38

(Drawing offered by Margaret Hill, artist, grandmother, seeker of the Christ Child)

Mary is visited by an angel and steps into God’s sacred story in an unexpected way – by expecting a child. When she goes to visit Elizabeth, another message comes with an in utero leap and an expectant mother’s words: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord. (Luke 1:42-45)

Then Mary sings her song – a message of hope for the whole world these two thousand odd years: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all will call me blessed: for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name…

Then Mary’s song changes. It isn’t just about her any more because she knows the glorious truth that transforms everything: God’s visit to one person is never a singular blessing. Good news is for everyone, most especially those in desperate need. Holiness cannot be contained, and was never meant to be hoarded by one person or a single group. Blessing comes into its own when it is recognized for what it is and shared with others.

I don’t know what the messenger will look like – the one who reveals to you the holiness of your own life. Will it be an angel with wings, a scrap of poetry found in a dusty old book, or the look in the eyes of a friend? When you see your messenger, when you receive your message, I hope you tell me about it. After all, sacred stories can’t all be contained in scripture, and I love a good story.

Blessings and Peace to you and yours on this sacred night.

(Boney M, Mary’s Boy Child/O My Lord, (Christmas Album), 1981. Available on iTunes)



Published by


I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

One thought on “Getting the Message”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *