When our collective symbols and stories no longer make sense in our reality, we question who we are. After exile and liberation, the ancient Israelites were so devastated that images of overwhelming waters and fire speak to them.
When we think of epiphanies, we tend to idealize the sudden revelation, the moment of knowing that we are heading out on the right path. Do the captured Israelites expect their return home to be such an epiphany?
Which mother, I wonder, has more heartbreak. Hannah sacrifices the dailiness of raising her first-born son. Mary keeps her son with her, but as he grows she can surely see that he is heading down a dangerous path.
I once read Luke 1 on a park bench during a jazz festival. I was practicing the art of reading scripture in an unusual location to see what this reveals in a familiar text. I pictured Mary as a jazz singer.