Sunday, December 17, 2017

Advent 3 - Mary letter 14

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,  because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,  to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,  and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,  the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.
They shall build up the ancient ruins,  they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,  the devastations of many generations.
For I the Lord love justice,  I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense,  and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants shall be known among the nations,  and their offspring among the peoples;
all who see them shall acknowledge  that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed.
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,  my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, the has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,  and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its shoots,  and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations. Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

Dear Mama and Papa,

the going has been slow, us traveling after twilight, but it has been safe. I do not want you to worry although I know you do. Joseph is very careful and thoughtful, and we stop often for water and a small meal. The wise women at Miriam's suggested I east small meals and drink plenty of water. They also told Joseph to go very slow, since they know folks in Bethlehem and along the way who could help us. Amos and Joseph had designed a route that will take us over more hilly and hidden country, roads that are not big highways but rather small "goat" paths. Several of their relatives are shepherds who know the hills and will keep their eyes out for us along the way.

We stayed last night in a shepherds shelter. It was really quite pleasant, although the sheep can get very noisy if disturbed. Since we arrived very late they put up a fuss, but Simon and Josiah, the shepherds, calmed them and then heated us some soup and shared some bread. We slept while they watched their flocks.

I am still getting used to being a wife and calling Joseph my husband. We have lived under such unusual circumstances that something so normal as husband and wife seems strange. We are able to be quiet as well as talk as we travel since the pace is slow and never terribly long. As we share our hearts, I see more and more of God working in us. I understand better that these small trials are just that - small. God is in the midst of this journey, we are safe and cared for along the way,  despite the short sighted people and despite those who would shame us for our faith. God is doing a new thing with us and we have so much to learn.

Thank you both for loving me so well, and giving me the strength and faith to answer God's call. Pray I remain strong and faithful.

love always,


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