Holiday Hours, And A Meditation

First, some quick business for clients, and those who might be contacting our office in the next few days...

Our offices are closed today and Monday, which  means that those of you who use our email marketing service will not see your emails posted until Tuesday (I don't write them ahead of time, preferring to keep news and perspective as fresh as possible).

So check your inbox on Tuesday for when they're available.

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Today, rather than sending out my normal marketing advice, I'm borrowing a meditation written by my wife last year. I will warn you that it is explicitly meditating on the Christmas story, so if you'd rather not participate in that, delete away. But I also believe that, laying aside theological/worldview differences, there is much to be gleaned from the story of Christmas -- even if you do see it as but a story.

The very improbability of it makes for quite a statement.

So I'd like to join you in lifting my eyes a little today -- by turning them downwards and considering what it would have been like for that lonely, fearful girl, given such weighty news...

The One Who Bore Hope

by Sara Hagerty

(taken from her blog, www.EveryBitterThingisSweet.com)

Wee thing, what were you thinking that night? When visited by the divine messenger, with words declaring that your frame would carry the hope for the world, did you struggle with fear at what this might mean for your own life?

Young child, made woman prematurely. Or just in time. Not broken by the world. Dreams not yet formulated to have been delayed. Fresh perspective that comes with youth. Hope unfettered. Your child-likeness wasn't an effort, it was you. Eyes wide and arms ready to receive hope, in your womb. Heavenly secret-keeper until your body could no longer contain the whisper.

Yet even then, the Son was misunderstood. His mother a harlot? You were overshadowed by holiness, yet the world shamed you. Your fetus, who wore the government on His shoulders, was born into the inn of meekness. And your most private prayers prepared you for the impossible call of raising up Hope.

You got to be the first one to gaze into the beauty of the Son. You, wee young thing, beheld the very thing that I, almost two thousand years later, long to know. His eyes.

His expressions. The complexity of a face born to represent justice, truth and mercy.

"She who believed!" Elizabeth called you. God called you. With childhood  nipping at your heels, you knew hope before Hope came to visit you. First. Your prostrate expectancy invited the Father of the great mystery to invite you in. Expectant prayers from the whimsical well of youth. God loved it. And He chose you.

And, for a few months shy of a year, the hope you already knew grew steadily inside of you. The inaugural appearance, on the night when scores of men called wise came to confirm, was allowed preview by an innocent young girl. The hope which gave birth to belief in your spirit was invited to warm in your womb before being introduced to the world.

Before being introduced to me.

I long for God to fill me with the hope you carried and the expectancy you birthed that precious night.

Oh expectant mother, oh one who carried the seed of Hope, my prayer to your Son is that my life might also "declare the greatness of the Lord." Though my calling is surely less than yours, my opportunity for expectancy is the same. Your offspring is my access.

And His birthright is my hope.

God bless you -- enjoy these holidays.

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