During the Sundays in Advent we will dwell in Mary’s story. Our focus scripture for this Receiving, Responding, Rejoicing season includes the encouragement to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16). No doubt, Mary is a wonderful witness to this indwelling Word! Church history has given her the name Theotokos, “Godbearer.”

Long before theologians fought about how Jesus fits himself into the bread and wine of the Sacrament, God fit Himself into the womb of a young woman. The redemption story of Jesus begins with God looking upon the “mean estate” (humble being) of a teenager. God’s promise is met with Mary’s response, “Let it be with me according to your word.” And so, the word of Christ dwelled richly in her poverty.

So, dear Bethesda, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly this Advent and Christmas season. We are engaged together in this God-bearing life. Kenda Dean wrote a wonderful book on youth ministry (and all ministry) called “The God-bearing Life.” She writes, “Youth ministry is a womb, an incubation ward for potential Godbearers as they ponder & struggle with the news that God is crazy in love with them, would die for them, and, in fact, has. What youth need more than gung-ho adults are Godbearing adults, people whose own yes to God has transformed them into messengers of the gospel.”

*November 29, Mary Receives the Promise, Luke 1:26-38
*December 6, Mary Responds in Praise, Luke 1:46-56
*December 13, Mary Rejoices with Elizabeth, Luke 1:39-45

Our Sunday adult education class (11:00-11:45) will study Mary’s Magnificat in greater depth and enjoy some of the great music inspired by her song.

Peace, Pastor Tom