The fourth Sunday in Advent

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord."

~Luke 1~
Book of Common Prayer readings for the fourth Sunday in Advent

Many years ago, I worked with a woman who was pregnant. She was thrilled to be having a baby, but she was worried. Not once had she felt her baby move. I have since experienced what she was going through, and I can have compassion as I look back and remember her furrowed brow.

We were in a long and boring staff meeting one day, and Cathy was across the table from me. At some point in the meeting, I glanced across at her and she had tears rolling down her cheeks. Her hand was on her swollen abdomen, and her smile was something I have never forgotten. She had at last felt the baby's movements. Oh, joy!

I remember Cathy as I read the words of Elizabeth's unborn child leaping in her womb, and I smile. The Christmas story is one of miracles and wonders.


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