Today’s post comes from writer and retreat presenter, Mary DeTurris Poust. This was the reading for today within her “Waiting in Joyful Hope” Advent reflections book. Mary provides timely inspiration for our faith via insights from Scripture during this fourth week of Advent. Let’s settle into a quiet, comfortable space and read below.
Signs and Wonder
Readings: Mal 3:1-4, 23-24; Luke 1:57-66
Scripture: All who heard these things took them to heart, saying “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. (Luke 1:66)
Reflection: Our readings from Scripture this week are filled with prophets and signs, people whose lives were marked by God before they took a breath, men and women who walked God’s path with singularity of purpose no matter what was happening around them. All of this of course is leading us toward the Sign, the One who will soon come into the world to fulfill everything that came before and to transform everything that will come after.
The birth of John the Baptist in today’s Gospel inches us closer to the birth of the Savior, giving us a glimpse of the shock and awe that surrounded John’s birth and how much more Jesus’ entry into the world is likely to rock the foundation of everything everyone thought they knew about God, about the world, about salvation.
Transformation never happens on our own terms, at least not when we’ve turned our transformation over to God. Transformation requires us to allow God to refine and purify us—as we hear in today’s first reading—to allow God to lead us where we may not want to go but must go in order to blossom into who we are called to be. Mary and Joseph and Elizabeth and Zechariah were all living their lives according to their own plans and traditions when God stepped in and gave them a new course, a different destination that no one could predict or even clearly see on any map or chart.
This is what God does. God upends our lives and, if we are willing to let go of the controls, guides us to places we never imagined possible.
Meditation: Today’s Gospel is filled with such faith and hope—from Elizabeth’s unlikely pregnancy and newborn son, to the name they choose, to Zechariah’s speech suddenly returning in a flood of blessings. How often are we ready to lose hope? Can we hold on in faith, trusting in God’s time?
Prayer: God of all Faithfulness, we look to Elizabeth and Zechariah today as models of complete trust in your word. We pray to have a faith so bold that we never doubt where you lead.
To learn more about Mary DeTurris Poust, please click here. We’re thrilled to be able to welcome Mary back next fall for a retreat too! Stay tuned into our website for details soon.