Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Serman 12/23/12

In today's gospel, Mary meets Elizabeth. John does fetal gymnastics.

This seems to be an under-appreciated moment in the gospel. Mary travels to see her older cousin; both have experienced an obstetrical miracle. Elizabeth, understandings the hierarchy of things, is thrilled and honored.

They stand there, or sit there--perhaps across a rough table--in the hills of Judah, looking at each other. Each is an Old Testament woman, each is carrying the New Testament. They both are a bridge between two ways of life. But they are more than the interface between two histories, they are the culmination of one and the beginning of another. The other.

They literally embody each world. But, more than history, they unite the physical and the spiritual.

There are many profound paintings of this encounter and they understandably emphasize the obvious and overwhelming spirituality of the event. They are somber and reverential. But the humanity of these women, one a girl, is never shown. Imagine what they thought, these two, facing each other in that rugged land with their special knowledge.

What did they say to each other? Was there anything to say?

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