Advent, Week 2:
Goodbye, Mr. Rockwell

December 10th, 2007 • Category: Advent and Christmas
by Tammy Mills

Today’s scripture: Luke 1:39-45 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Rev. Tammy Mills):

I love it when I read a VERY familiar scripture and see something new. As I read today’s scripture I had a thought I hadn’t had before: Why don’t we ever hear how Mary’s family took the news of Jesus?

We have this wonderful story where Mary meets with Elizabeth and the two find support in each other, but I wonder — where was Mary’s mom? Where were her sisters? How did they take the news of her pregnancy? Did they reject Mary? Did they kick her out and tell her she no longer had a mother or family?

Perhaps some of us have had an experience where family has not accepted us or as kicked us out. That is a pain that seems especially acute during the Advent season. The images of Christmas we a see everywhere show families smiling and gathered around a beautiful tree or dinner table. Those images serve to stir up old hurts from the past.

I think it is important to remember those Norman Rockwell images are the world’s images.

The Christmas story presents a very different image of family. We see Mary unwed and pregnant. We see that Mary has to leave home to find support. We see Joseph trying to find his way through a terribly complicated situation. We see those marginalized in society (shepherds) invited to the birthing room. We see wise men willing to follow a star — perhaps for years — and then sneak out of town after they have visited the young Jesus. Not exactly a picture perfect Christmas!

My life may not be picture perfect, the way commercials show things, but it is perfect in its own way. Rather than spending a lot of time this Advent lamenting for family that has rejected me, I choose to focus on those wonderful, “slightly odd” folks God has brought into my life who love me unconditionally! Even when family disowns, there are always “Elizabeths” in our life if we are open to see them!

Thought for the day: Who do I include in my spiritual family? This advent I will take time to give thanks for them!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

Comments are closed.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
Be still and know… is proudly powered by WordPress.