I love this passage. I love the literary device the writer uses. It's a story within a story, quite a sophisticated literary technique for a gospel. It gives a real sense of pace and activity. I also love it because there are two female characters in close proximity.
‘I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Ps. 139:14)
Well, except for the ugly bits. And the bits that hurt, or don’t work very well. And the bits that feel like they belong to someone else, rather than me.
When do you sense wonder? What inspires you to feel that way?
About a century ago, Welsh poet W H Davies wrote a sonnet praising nature that started:
‘What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stop and stare?’
Lately I’ve been rediscovering the joy of asking questions. Walking with friends or doing the washing up…if something pops into my head, I ask about it out loud.
Mary has just been visited by the Angel and leaves immediately to visit her relative, Elizabeth, in Judah. This is a journey of approximately 90 miles. She travels through the precarious region of Samaria, probably down to Jericho, up to Jerusalem and on to the hillside where Elizabeth lives.
‘Consider the ravens,’ suggests Jesus. ‘Then consider the lilies, how they grow.’ Consider them: and wonder!
An old adage claims that “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread”. Fear is not necessarily bad. It can be a warning of danger, a sign to take extra care to ensure that we and others are safe. Listening to our feelings of fear can be a very wise thing.
"You see, God did not give us a cowardly spirit, but a powerful, loving and disciplined spirit." (1 Timothy 1:7, The Voice)
This passage comes at the end of a letter written to new Christians who found themselves in an uncomfortable minority in first century Asia Minor. The writer is sending words of encouragement to help them to strengthen their faith.