by Christine Sine
For the Celts songs, poems and epic sagas were an intrinsic part of their everyday life. They carried deep spiritual meanings and sometimes encouragement into the reality and often harshness of life.
This quote from my readings in Celtic Advent a couple of days ago has really resonated in my mind this week. David Cole goes on to remind us that
In Luke 1 we find Mary using this same form of expression when she is with Elizabeth. She glorifies God with song because of who God is, what God has done within her and what God will do through her. This song, known as the Magnificat, is Mary’s expression of praise to God in the way which seems, both from Hebraic and Celtic/AngloSaxon culture to be a most natural way to express our innermost senses and feelings.
As I read David’s words I realized that it was time to set up my sacred space for Advent and Christmas so pulled out this beautiful canvas photo of the Magnificat given to me by my good friend Tom Balke. He took the photo on a visit to maize a few years ago,
As I gazed at the photo this morning several images came to mind.
- First I was reminded of the many friends and relatives who are expecting at this time. I visualized each of them and their babies and offered a prayer and a song of praise to God for them. As I did so I felt a special sense of connection not just to them but to Mary and Elizabeth and their own unborn babies whom we remember at this time. I felt the joy of God rejoicing not just at the coming of these babies but of all the babies in our world.
- Second I was reminded of all the songs and poems that are within me. Some of them have already been birthed and shared on this blog, others are still growing within the womb of my soul, that quiet and sometimes dark place where I feel embraced by the comforting presence of God which makes it possible for me to give birth at the right season.
I was also reminded of this beautiful icon I found several years ago (but have never been able to trace down since). This image too speaks to me of the wonder of this season of Advent (already started for those of us who are celebrating the 40 days of Celtic Advent. It speaks not only of the hope and promise of the babies growing in both Elizabeth’s and Mary’s wombs but of the hope and promise of what God is growing within all of us.
What Is You Response?
Take a few minutes to meditate on one of these images of Mary and Elizabeth.
Are there women that you know who are pregnant at this season? What are the hopes and promises that come to you as you pray for them? Perhaps you would like to copy this image as I did this morning and send it to them to let them know you are praying for them and their unborn child or children. Share with them the joy you are feeling
Think about Mary and Elizabeth and the children in their wombs. Look at the Taize image and focus on the chidden in Mary and Elizabeth. Read through the Magnificat which in The Message begins I am bursting with God-news. As you meditate on them and their unborn children today, what is the hope and promise, the God-news, that rejoices your heart as Mary’s heart rejoices in this song ?
What are the unborn prayers, songs and creative work that you sense is growing within you but is still to be birthed? All of us have unborn hopes for the future, creative seeds that have been planted within us but are still to be born. Many of them are inspired by the Spirit of God. Think about those seeds you know have been planted. Let your soul (and maybe your body) sing and dance for joy at what God has planted and will one day give birth to in you.
Is there another response God is asking of you at this time? Pull out your journal and write it down or respond with a song, a prayer or by creating an image.
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I’m not familiar with the icon, however I do want to say that I have wonderful memories from the time I encountered the above red stain glass window depicting Mary & Elizabeth w/Jesus & John!–this was in Taize’ France. ❤
Yes I mention that it is at Taize in the post and though I have not been there I fell in love with it when my friend Tom brought a photo home.