Monday, December 19, 2005

Waiting for a Child

Two of the liturgical readings for today deal with announcements of impending births by angels. Judges 13:2-7, 24-25 tells of the birth of Samson. Luke 1:5-25 has an angel appearing to Zacheriah telling him that he and Elizabeth would have a son who would grow up to be John the Baptist. Both of these women were barren, a fate almost worse than death in societies in which child-bearing was the mark of success for a woman. Yet in the end, God rewarded their patience and faith, giving them children who would go on to do great things, although both would ultimately meet sad ends (at least in human terms).

Christmas is about waiting for a child to be born. Unlike with Christmas which you can pretty much guarantee will come around at the same time each year, human children tend to arrive on their own schedules. You can try to plan for them, but God tends to send them when He chooses. And then there is the pregnant waiting, when for nine (or in my case nearly ten) months, your whole life revolves around this child growing within you. And the last days when you can barely walk and every moment has the potential for a miracle. When will he come? You are getting ready and filled with excitement and fear and happiness and sadness and every other emotion known to woman.

Each year, we remember how Mary, and all mothers who came before and after her, have waited for a child. We wait with Mary and prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus.

Speaking of motherhood, tonight I found a blog by a colleague of mine - Dionna Sanchez at Her blog is at

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