Sisters in Scripture
Fourth Week of Advent    12/21/2019
All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us". 
Matthew 1:24

Fourth Week of Advent

Over the last several Advents, Betsey Beckman and I have collaborated in presenting the Advent retreat ONCE UPON A TIME IN A TOWN CALLED NAZARETH.  While I cannot possibly re-create that experience for you here in newsletter format, here is a sampling sent to you as a labor of love. May it bless your preparation for the coming of Christ.
 
And Mary said, "My spirit rejoices in God my Savior. 
"For He has looked upon His handmaid's lowliness:
Behold, from this time on all generations will call me blessed.
"For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
"And His mercy is from age to age
To those who fear Him.
"He has shown might with His arm;
He has scattered the arrogant of mind and heart.
"He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones, 
But lifted up the lowly.
"The hungry He has filled with good things;
The rich He has sent away empty.
"He has helped Israel, His servant,
remembering His mercy, 
According to His promise to our fathers, 
To Abraham and his descendants forever.”
Luke 1:47-56

 
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Third Week of Advent    12/14/2019
Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
James 5:7-8 

Third Week of Advent

Over the last several Advents, Betsey Beckman and I have collaborated in presenting the Advent retreat ONCE UPON A TIME IN A TOWN CALLED NAZARETH.  While I cannot possibly re-create that experience for you here in newsletter format, here is a sampling sent to you as a labor of love. May it bless your preparation for the coming of Christ.
The Annunciatory Angel
(detail of Fra Angelico's The Annunciation) - Luci Shaw
 
. . .Gabriel seems to be advancing up an incline, laboring with the imperative of message, hair flattened against scalp, features tense, hands folded tight to the chest, agitation or awe - it is hard to tell. We can't see the heart hammering in the unearthly body, but the announcement, the cracking open of a space that encircles earth and heaven, must weigh like a gold boulder in the belly.
 
How might it feel (if an archangel has feelings) to bear this news: Perhaps as confounded as the girl, there in the corner? 
 
We worry that she might faint. Weep. Turn away, perplexed and fearful about opening herself. Refuse to let the wind fill her, t buffet its nine-month seed into her earth. 
She is so small and intact. Turmoil will wrench her.

She might say no.
 
Accompanied by Angels: Poems of the Incarnation
 
click on the image to view a larger version
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Second Week of Advent    12/7/2019
The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.
Isaiah 11:2-4 

Second Week of Advent

Over the last several Advents, Betsey Beckman and I have collaborated in presenting the Advent retreat ONCE UPON A TIME IN A TOWN CALLED NAZARETH.  While I cannot possibly re-create that experience for you here in newsletter format, here is a sampling sent to you as a labor of love. May it bless your preparation for the coming of Christ. 
 

ONCE UPON A TIME IN A TOWN CALLED NAZARETH

When Betsey first created her StoryDance for the Annunciation, she had to consider how to best set the scene. She decided to have Mary hanging laundry. This gave her an array of colorful scarves to dance with (clever!) and created an indelible visual impact. It was Betsey's StoryDance that first inspired me and begged the question, "What was Mary doing when Gabriel appeared?" (To see more of Betsey's movement artistry, go to The Dancing Word.)
 
On our Advent retreat, we again ask the question of participants, "What do you think Mary was doing?" We then take a look at art through the ages to see how others have answered the question. Every artist, like Betsey, has had to think not only of Mary's setting but also some thought provoking questions like how to make the Divine visible, how does one respond when that happens, how is this relevant today?
 

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