Advent 2021: Mary

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.
(Luke 1:26-37)



My whimsical design is inspired by The St. John’s Bible, where gold signifies the inbreaking of God’s presence, and butterflies hint at the appearance of angels. I used a homely, quilted background for Mary, a humble young woman who teaches us how to receive God: with an open heart.
Choosing

What made me notice her? 
When I pulled out my camera 
the other children swarmed, posed, 
leaned in to see the result.  
The wives of the village chief 
sauntered over to see what the fuss was all about.
But she hung back.
Others clamored.
She watched, 
curious, timid.
I prayed for her, convinced 
the Divine had shone a spotlight on her 
for my benefit and hers.
I named her Jolie. I could see 
beauty under the grit.  
I wonder what became of her.  

Mary was not the kind of girl 
you’d notice, didn’t seek attention, 
only something interesting 
to feed her curiosity.
When the strange figure delivered 
the news of God’s favor 
she checked the room 
where her sisters slept nearby 
to make sure he was talking to her.
Nobody else was awake.

Okay.
How many others took a pass before 
you got to my name on the roster?
Because I am definitely not a first-string player.
Not your mother-of-the-anointed-one type.
I hate parades.

Never mind. 
If what you want is somebody who will 
blend in, 
won’t get the big head, 
just willing to do the job,
then I guess I’m your girl.

Where do I sign?

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