I can't believe we just have 3 more days till Christmas!
Today the reading is about Hannah from the 1st chapter of Samuel.
"I am giving him to the Lord..." 1 Samuel 1:28
The story of Hannah is surely a very heart wrenching story and finds echoes in many women who dearly want a child and have been waiting for years to have one. Today there are all sorts of medical procedures and fertility treatments not available in Hannah's day. She instead went to the giver of life and prayed, "If you look down upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime..."
How many of us parents are willing to pray this prayer? But the truth of the matter is our children are not our own. Children are precious gifts from God, and He put them in our care. I have only one son, Josh, and he is 20 years old now. When I was younger, I used to have many theories and ideas about raising kids, because I read a lot, and listened to parents and asked questions. But when your child is grown up, you realize how many mistakes you made, and you just have to trust God that He will continue to be faithful to your children the same way He has been faithful to you!!! I know of a mother who prays, "Lord, do what it takes to bring my son and daughter to become the man and woman after your own heart." Yes Lord, my son is yours, do what it takes!
"Mary set out, proceeding in haste..." Luke 1:39
When Mary reaches Ein Karem, and Elizabeth greets her, she bursts into song- the splendid Magnificat. "My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my Savior..." This is the joy we should have this Advent. Just as Mary awaits the birth of Jesus from her womb, so we too are waiting. What Mary brings to Elizabeth, is not only herself, but also Jesus, and her joy and her joy is infectious. This Advent, let us find that joy that does not come from the gifts we receive on Christmas, or the merry making, or the parties. Let us find the joy that only God can give, and make sure to infect others. Let us, like Mary, proceed in haste to help others, especially the poor, the sick, the imprisoned. Let us, like Mary, bring Jesus to them!
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