On the one hand [Mary] was just a girl, an immature and frightened girl who had the good sense to believe what an angel told her in what seemed like a dream. On the other hand, she was the mother of the Son of God, with faith enough to move mountains, to sing about the victories of her son as if he were already at the right hand of his father instead of a dollop of cells in her womb. … When we allow God to be born in us, there is no telling, no telling at all, what will come out.

Barbara Brown Taylor, Mixed Blessings

God is coming! God is coming!
All the element we swim in, this existence,
Echoes ahead the advent. God is coming! Can't you feel it?

Walter Wangerin Jr., "The Signs of the Times" in The Manger Is Empty

Mary's story … tell[s] us that if the Scriptures don't sometimes pierce us like a sword, we're not paying close enough attention.

Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk

The whole concept of God taking human shape had never made much sense to me. That was because, I realized one wonderful day, it was so simple. For people with bodies, important things like love have to be embodied. That's all. God had to be embodied, or else people with bodies would never in a trillion years understand about love.

Jane Vonnegut Yarmolinsky, Angels Without Wings

"He came down from heaven" can almost be transposed into "Heaven drew earth up into it," and locality, limitation, sleep, sweat, footsore weariness, frustration, pain, doubt, and death are, from before all worlds, known by God from within. The pure light walks the earth; the darkness, received into the heart of Deity, is there swallowed up. Where, except in uncreated light, can the darkness be drowned?

C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

My only rule: If you understand something, it's no mystery.

Scott Cairns, "The Translation of Raimundo Luz: My Good Luck"

The virgin birth has never been a major stumbling block in my struggle with Christianity; it's far less mind-boggling than the Power of all Creation stooping so low as to become one of us.

Madeleine L'Engle, A Stone for a Pillow

Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people; for there is born to you this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. In these words you clearly see that he is born for us. He does not simply say, Christ is born, but to you is born; neither does he say, I bring glad tidings, but to you I bring glad tidings of great joy. Furthermore, this joy was not to remain in Christ, but it shall be to all people.

Sermons of Martin Luther

Related Elsewhere

Past Reflections columns include:

  1. Listening (Nov. 30, 2000)
  2. Death and Eternity (Oct. 24, 2000)
  3. Quotations of Time and Eternity (Oct. 11, 2000)
  4. Quotations to Contemplate (Sept. 21, 2000)
  5. Christian virtues (Aug. 22, 2000)
  6. Beauty, Prayer and Loving God (Aug. 1, 2000)
  7. Prayer, Silence and Other Topics (June 31, 2000)
  8. Getting, Giving, and Generosity (June 13,2000).
  9. Easter Sunday (Apr. 3, 2000)
  10. Good Friday (Apr. 3, 2000)
  11. Friendships (Mar. 6, 2000)
  12. Gratitude: Take One (Feb. 7, 2000)
  13. God Will Prevail (Oct. 25, 1999)
  14. The Might of a Dandelion (Oct. 4, 1999)
  15. Losing Touch with God (Sept. 6,1999)
  16. Real Joy (Aug. 9, 1999)
  17. Prayer for Today (Mar. 1, 1999)

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