In both last Sunday’s Episcopalian service and today, we read from the Virgin Mary’s Magnificat, where she praises God for the gift of bearing Jesus:
My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
I like the way that we read this in the Advent season, even though Mary would be singing it in March (which is to say, at conception, nine months before the birth). Spring and winter contend for supremacy at the darkest time of the year, a fitting look ahead to God’s light entering the world.
My good friend Sue Schmidt, who blogs at Let’s Choose Joy, has steered me to a wonderful Madeleine L’Engle poem about the conception of Jesus. In it, Sue notes, L’Engle “reminds us that there are seasons when being irrational is exactly right. For at times reason can stifle the imagination and shut down the possibility of God’s coming.”
By Madeleine L’Engle
This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There’d been no room for the child.
This has particular meaning for me at the moment since both of my sons are choosing to bring children into the world, uncertain though the times may be. Darien especially wrestled with the logic of doing so. In the end, however, something deeper than logic prevailed.