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Reflections on those moments when faith and the nitty-gritty of daily life intersect

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Advent with Mary

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First Week of Advent

Join us this Advent as we take time to read scripture, meditate, pray and welcome Christ in our lives anew. This is the first of four devotions written by a couple in our church. God bless you as you journey through Advent.

Advent with Mary SassoferratoAdvent means waiting. It is full of expectation. It reaches its climax with the arrival of the Saviour. In that sense Jesus personifies the fulfilment of Advent. At the same time, the beginning of Advent, this season of expectations, is probably best personified by Mary … after all, she is expecting.

Had Mary been a princess or a person with extraordinary talents/abilities, most of us would have difficulties to identify with her. She was, however, neither of these, but only a young teenager from a small village. Mary’s ordinariness and simplicity challenge us to examine what we can learn from her.

Upon hearing the message of the angel Gabriel, she responded: “Let it be to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38). Her unconditional surrender to the will of God has been an inspiration to Christians ever since.  There are, however, at least two more areas we should consider.

Mary literally carried Jesus within her. By giving birth to the Saviour she made it possible for us to affirm with the Apostle Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).

Both at the beginning and at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry Mary is near him. At the joyous occasion of the wedding in Cana (Jn 2:1) and also by the cross  she is there (Jn 19:25).

Looking at Mary’s life in this manner, we are challenged to ask ourselves:

  • Though Mary’s circumstances were unique, her response is applicable to each of us also today and raises the question: are we willing to surrender our will to his?
  • Does our life reflect that “Christ is living within us”?
  • Are we willing to stay close to Jesus even in the shadow of a cross?

A worthy celebration of this Advent could be to take these questions seriously and follow Mary’s example, and by doing so we may discover a life and a lifestyle that befit us Christians, not just in the next few weeks, but “till he comes” (1 Cor 11:26).

Let us therefore live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Tit 2:12-13).

Born and raised in the Netherlands. Great interest for foreign cultures and languages. A local in Stockholm, The Hague, Tokyo, Utrecht and perhaps even Lisbon and Vienna. Baptized and continuously saved by grace. Analytical, slightly introvert, mother of two, wife of a pastor.
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Born and raised in the Netherlands. Great interest...
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