Reflections for

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec 24, 2017

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Luke 1:46b-55 or Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38

Poetry

Mary considers her situation

What next, she wonders,
with the angel disappearing, and her room
suddenly gone dark.

The loneliness of her news
possesses her. She ponders
how to tell her mother.

Still, the secret at her heart burns like
a sun rising. How to hold it in—
that which cannot be contained.

She nestles into herself, half-convinced
it was some kind of good dream,
she its visionary.

But then, part dazzled, part prescient—
she hugs her body, a pod with a seed
that will split her.

On Art

The Annunciation

When I started the work,” writes video artist/photographer Eija-Liisa Ahtila, “the aim was to do a remake of the annunciation paintings with moving images to see what this powerful image in our culture would turn out to be and what it would mean in present-day Western society.” The result, The Annunciation, is a three-channel multimedia installation exhibited at the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York. A mixture of stills of familiar paintings of the annunciation and acted scenes—with angels, a patron, donkeys, Mary, cultural Christmas snapshots and layers of angel wings—creates a layered narrative. In the 33-minute installation, Ahtila’s work runs through cultural allusions and histories, moving in and through the natural and supernatural.

—Lil Copan

Poetry

Emmanuel

From the cave of darkness
    a baby comes to light.

In the nick of time,
    eternity tonight.

In a world of error
    a perfect child is birthed.

In the midst of terror,
    peace arrives on earth.

In the chill of winter
    dawns this blazing son.

To a world of sinners
    comes this sinless one.

In a land of chaos
    speaks this single Word

whose voice can raise the dead,
    whose promise can be heard.

Even as he cries
    sleepers stir beneath the sod

for nothing is impossible
    with God.

 

Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.