advent reflection ~ day 9

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home. ~Luke 1:56


Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months. It’s not a stretch to imagine the two of them having long conversations about all that God was doing in their lives. I have this image of them eating dinner together. In my mind’s eye, I see the two of them breaking bread while the sun set over Elizabeth’s hillside home.

I can almost hear Mary say:   Oh Elizabeth…I said yes to the angel. I told him I would be the handmaiden of the Lord.”

And I see Elizabeth smiling, her face a sweet canvas of wrinkles. Yes Mary…God is accomplishing the impossible. Can you believe that I am pregnant at this age?

Centuries later, we can only imagine what their conversations were like. However, we know for sure that these two friends shared a sacred bond. Yes, they were decades apart in years, but their friendship wasn’t based on age. It was rooted in the stories of faith they shared.

During this Advent season, try befriending someone who isn’t the same age as you are. If you have a few wrinkles, find a young Mary to mentor. The millennial women in our church are yearning for wisdom that can’t be found on Facebook or twitter.   They need eye contact and encouragement from those of us who have lived our stories.

If you are Mary’s age, try visiting the home of an older Elizabeth.   Break bread with a wise woman who will affirm your hopes and dreams.   Laugh and pray together.   Let your stories bind you together in Christ.



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Nancy Jo Sullivan

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Nancy Jo Sullivan is an inspirational author and speaker. She has published with Random House, Guideposts, Readers Digest, and the Huffington Post. Her newest book, Small Mercies, was recently released by Loyola Press. In the book, she writes about God’s presence in motherhood, family, and love. Through poignant reflections, she recalls how she found God even in her darkest moments, especially in the months that followed the death of her daughter with Down’s syndrome. She reminds the reader that God is present in “every mess, burden, and blessing.” The mother of two grown daughters, Nancy Jo resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She loves hanging out with her daughters, teaching writing classes to kids with special needs, jogging, making spinach smoothies, and of course, writing about her imperfect life.

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