4th Sunday of Advent December 20, 2015


Graffiti of Mary heavy with child on the separation wall in Bethlehem.

Luke 1:39-55

“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.’”

All Earth Is Waiting, verse 4

“In lowly stable the Promised “One appeared, yet, feel his presence throughout the earth today, for he lives in all Christians and is with us now; again, with his coming he brings us liberty.”

Mary, a girl servant child.  God used the least expected person to become the mother of Jesus.  God did not overlook the girl servant child, but God included her during a specific time and a place… from Nazareth to Bethlehem, places of no great note.  How will God inspire you?

In the midst of hunger and disadvantage, in the midst of the Roman occupation of a people, God used a servant girl child to bear Emmanuel, “God with us,” the Joy to the world, Jesus.  In the midst of hunger and disadvantage today, in the midst of the greatest refugee crisis in the world, in the midst of the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine, what does it mean that God chooses you and me to seek justice for all humanity?

These past days, images of refugees and immigrants, images of occupation from uprooting of trees, to water tanks, to home demolitions, separation/apartheid walls and refugee camps in Bethlehem fill my mind.  My faith reminds me that God will never leave us, nor forsake us… God responded through the life and ministry of Jesus… and God continues to respond in us.

Are you among the least expected to respond to God’s call?  What does it look like when we humble ourselves, so that we can be used by God in the midst?  Are you ready?

Amazing and loving God,

May we seek to be lowly servants, men and women, girls and boys, who respond to Your call upon our lives.  We give you praise that You use ordinary people in extraordinary moments to stand in the gap, in the midst of life.  We remember Your children who continue to live under occupations, in refugee situations, and others moments of injustice.  Help us bear the light of your amazing grace through Jesus Christ.  Amen.

20 December written by Rev. Kristen L. Brown, GBGM Methodist Liaison in Palestine and Israel from 2011 to the present. She is an ordained Elder of the Oklahoma Conference.

All photographs taken by Rev. Kristen L. Brown.




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