The Preacher preached from Luke 1 yesterday. It is midway between Easter and Pentecost and the Preacher is preaching about the time just-pregnant Mary goes to visit third-trimester-pregnant Aunt Elizabeth! Ah, a glorious time it was, but it is not Advent, Dear Husband. He persists. He tells the congregation that Mary praised God no matter what He asked of her. When she was called upon to walk around pregnant “having known no man” she said to the messenger, “Be it onto me as you have said.” When told to go visit her Aunt
Elizabeth, she makes the journey and finds Elizabeth is waiting for her. You can see by the picture that the two women have a good laugh when Elizabeth’s fetus leaps in the presence of Mary’s fetus. Then there is the issue of getting Joseph to believe her and then the new family making the trip to Bethlehem near her due date. After giving birth in a stable far from home amongst shepherds, animals and angels, the Scriptures say, “Mary treasured these things in her heart.”
At the newborn’s circumcision at 8 days of age Simeon told her that “a sword would pierce her heart” and then she went to Egypt to live. The Wise Men overheard Herod’s plan to kill all the newborn males 2 years of age and under to snuff out the one the stars had signaled had been born in the land of the Hebrews. Herod was scared and jealous so he killed the babies. When Joseph deemed it safe, she returned to her hometown of (can-anything-good-come-out-of ) Nazareth. In Nazareth she raised the Son of God. And once she had him raised? He told her he had to die, and then he was beaten and crucified in front of her eyes.
The Preacher tells about seeing the Pieta at the World’s Fair in 1965. He was 14.
I have had the enviable experience of seeing the statuary called the Pieta. Today you must travel to Rome and go to St. Peter’s to view it. In 1965 the piece was brought to New York City to the World’s Fair where I was one of several million to pass by it on a conveyor belt so I could view it for a few moments. It was carved in 1498 and is the first and only piece ever signed with the name Michelangelo. The carving in gorgeous Carrara marble is nearly perfect and can only be described as being beyond beautiful.
The irony is that it depicts one of the most un-beautiful events in human history… the moment in time frozen forever of the Virgin holding the ravaged and lifeless body of her son. A moment no one can understand except for one who has endured such a thing… as she had… and providentially few of us ever will.
The Preacher went on to say that very little is known about the end of Mary’s life, but I think I know one thing for sure. She knew he raised from the dead and was thankful she had been faithful to her part in the plan.
Today my soul magnifies the Lord and I am thankful for
#619 His plans. He has one for each of us. I marvel at that. The God of the universe has a plan for me; it’s so incredible it seems unreal!
#620 connections from unlikely places that become a piece in the mosaic that will be Parish Nursing in my church.
#621 my friend, Ashley, who will begin a new job tomorrow and I have had opportunities to speak truth to those who matter.
#622 my daughter being willing to come up when my son graduates this Friday evening. She and Dad (who is too weak to travel and then sit through a 2-hour graduation ceremony) will watch 3 Stooges movies together and laugh their heads off.
#623 a much-needed time of rest and refocus. I have applied for 48 jobs and posted countless resumes since my unemployment began in January. I am required to apply for three jobs per week as a part of the unemployment compensation program. I have only been interviewed twice. I have still not heard from those jobs, but others tell me via e-mail that my qualifications do not match their needs. I truly don’t know what I would do if I was offered a job. I know what I am supposed to do and it would be too much to add to what I am already preparing.
#624 the news that a young friend has a new home with a yard and enough room for her three children to grow.
#625 a chance to watch the movie 13 Going on 30 this week with my husband. It encapsulated for me what life is really all about. Of course, it was not a Christian film so the relationship with Christ was not in it, but everything else was there. My favorite part was near the end when the lead character’s partner told the lead character’s best friend what his best friend had done with all his hard work. I knew he didn’t believe her because he could read people very well. Later when the lead character asked why he didn’t believe her he said, “Oh, I stopped believing her in third grade when she stole my pop rocks.” I LOVED it! Such wisdom. We must be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.
#626 the arrival of a promised check to cover my room and board at my parish nursing class next week with EXTRA money for gas. My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
#627 the ministry of First Place 4 Health. I wrote about it last week at https://dschondog.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/losing-weight/
#628 the therapeutic help of support hose for me and my sister. She refused to wear them for years and finally she relented. She is amazed that her ankles aren’t swollen anymore.
Tsk, tsk, listen to thy sister. These bad boys run in our family and they are becoming a nusience. If you have them, get the stockings!
#629 the name of a good surgeon so that my sister can get relief from the pain of the varicose veins. (She has to wear the stockings 90 days before the powers that be will reimburse for the operation.)
#630 the experiences of life that position me to help the young. What a gift from the Lord in old age.
#631 the Virgin Mary’s example.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.
May He multiply our thanks as we gather here on Multitudes on Monday,