Today’s Readings: AM Psalm 31; PM Psalm 35; Haggai 1:1-15; Rev. 2:18-29; Matt. 23:27-39

A Reflection from Mary Anne Bryant, Assistant for Mission & Outreach

Advent is a time that I not only think about the birth of our Savior, but I also think about Mary. What was she thinking about as she awaited the birth of her Son? She and Joseph had to travel to Jerusalem by law to register their family name. Mary, what did you think about as you traveled by donkey to give birth?

I have wonderful memories of traveling to Tanzania with the NetsforLife young ladies in the summer of 2012. One of the villages we stayed in is called Mvumi, and there is a hospital there. Picture a large building with many wards of patients, not many nurses, and families hanging out in the courtyard cooking because these families have to be there to look after and feed their sick family member.

This is Mary, born June 30, 2012, and her mother.

This is Mary, born June 30, 2012, and her mother.

One of the areas we were able to tour at Mvumi Hospital was the labor and delivery ward. It was there that I was able to meet a mother that had just given birth to a baby girl. This was a special day, not just because I was having this amazing mission trip, but that it was also my birthday and I was sharing this day with this sweet new baby. Magi Griffin, who at that time was advisor for projects/programs in the Diocese of Central Tanganyika, introduced me to the mother in Swahili, and said that her new baby girl and I shared the same birthday. The mother asked in Swahili what my name was and Magi told her. The mother looked at me and said she wanted to name her baby girl Mary after me.

I have no idea what village this mother came from, and I have no idea how she got to the hospital. She could have been brought by someone, but more likely she walked or possibly came by a jammed packed bus that came through her village. What was this mother thinking as she was traveling to give birth and what the future held for her infant?

On June 30 every year, I will remember my amazing mission trip with the energetic beautiful young ladies from the Diocese of Virginia, but my most loving memory will be of baby Mary and her mother.

John 1: 9-13 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being though him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

Posted by The Diocese

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