In Advent we await the birth of a Savior, a Redeemer, who is but a babe. This week the Holy Child receives literary company in the little boy Samuel at his mother’s breast. These two women, Mary and Hannah, encounter God in extraordinary ways, unmediated by the men around them and as a result bear promised children. Blood and death, war, conquest and occupation will shadow the lives of both boys and only one will live to a ripe old age. Miraculous motherhood is always a challenging trope in the scriptures. Not all will mother. Not all will be mothered well. Broken hearts, empty arms and wombs endure. Yet the metaphor is not quite bankrupt. In the epistle we are reminded that though not all give birth all have been birthed and may be rebirthed through the Spirit and the waters of baptism. In the waters of baptism and on this side of the fount, God is with us. God is with us!
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