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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Voice! Advent 4 C Luke 1:39-56 Micah 5:2-6 Hebrews 10:5-10

My friend had a baby last week.
My heart leaped for joy when I heard that this precious bundle had arrived. 
Mary and Elizabeth were close.
And they shared the joy of expecting babies at the same time.
Elizabeth, an old married woman who had hoped for so long to bear a child;
 Mary, a young woman who had not even dreamed it would happen so soon.
 Both waiting for their babies, talking, speculating, planning for the future.
Did they sit and knit and sew baby clothes?
Did they discuss diapers and feedings and plans?
Did they have any idea what their sons would be like? What they would do?
How they would preach?
They could not have known. For now, they sit, they wait, they feel joy.
Mary's heart was not pierced with the sword yet
But still she fretted. What would Joseph do? What would he say?
The story of Joseph's acceptance of the baby news is not in Luke;
We read it in Matthew.
When we read Luke, we have poetic license to wonder.
Did she tell him before or after she visited her cousin?
Did she just let him see the baby belly when she returned to Nazareth?
How did he respond?

But then I think, could a woman so afraid of being publicly shamed have sung such a song?
Was her heart 'right'? Was her faith deep enough to believe that all would be well?

The lack of Joseph's voice goes along with the lack of Zachariah's as he has lost his voice for his doubt.
This leads us to perceive the greatest story ever with its beginnings in the wombs of two women.
Women have no voice in first century Judaism.
Women are to be silent.
Women cannot speak in public; not even to a family member.
Women have to walk a certain number of paces behind a man.
Any self-respecting Jewish man will not touch a woman in public as any one who might be bleeding is considered unclean...and well, you never know if women are bleeding.

But God has chosen to announce the birth of HIS SON with the voice of a woman;
Yes, we have heard the voice of an angel.
But now we hear the voice of a woman; a young woman; probably a young teen
And she responds to the voice of an old woman; 'past child bearing age.'

The older woman who gives birth to the prophet represents the past.
The young woman who gives birth to the savior represents the future.

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