Gleanings (12/20/2011) – Mary Elizabeth the Impossible

Luke 1:26-38

“For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Mary has no husband and Elizabeth is in her old age. And yet, both will have babies within three months of each other. And these are no ordinary babies. Elizabeth will yield John the Baptist and Mary will yield Jesus who is “called holy, the Son of God.”

Miracles abound to make salvation possible. Some people struggle with them. It is said that Thomas Jefferson clipped the miraculous out of his Bible, choosing instead a completely rational faith. I’ve never understood that. The Gospel can’t stand without miracles. At the very least we believe God loves us. Given our nearly universal willingness to disregard him if not at times outright reject him, that is a miracle in and of itself. No, I never struggled with miracles. Either God is or He is not. If He is, then the miraculous is chump change by comparison.

My oldest was adopted 20 years ago today. Her name? Mary Elizabeth for obvious reasons. And she is just as miraculous though not nearly as famous in spite of her great desire and modest efforts. Her mother was barren. She could not conceive. And yet God wanted (he may have some misgivings about that now J) us to raise her.  So her birth mother, at just the right time, concluded she was not yet ready to raise Mary Elizabeth. She chose adoption as a course of action, then an agency randomly from the phonebook, and finally us from among several files placed in front of her. Of all the people? Amazing really – God was intervening in history, a textbook example of the miraculous. What a joy to be the personal beneficiary of that one! Mary Elizabeth the Impossible.


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