I’ve got my Advent page up and running, with lots of links and meditations for the season of Advent. Today is day 2, and here’s today’s meditation to give you a flavor of what I’m trying to do.

Anticipation is good for the soul . . .

“Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen lots of commercials on television about The Nativity Story, Hollywood’s latest effort to reach out to the Christian Evangelical community (and their wallets). I’m not sure yet if I am going to see the movie, at least at the theater. It’s a lot of money, and some reviewers have said the movie is fairly uninspired. Kind of ironic, huh?

“One thing I have noticed from the trailers that has really left an imprint in my mind is a reminder of how scandalous Mary’s pregnancy was. Obviously, Joseph would have had questions, but in the shame-based culture of the Middle East, Mary’s family would also have felt betrayed and humiliated. The dramatic music and theatrical lighting of the movie trailer make the disgrace of the virgin birth palpable.

“Funny how the scandalous nature of Christmas never ends up in the Christmas carols or on the Christmas cards, at least not with shock and horror that the situation actually invokes. Though Mary understood the high calling she was answering by carrying God in her womb, she did so at risk to her life, the just punishment for adultery being death by stoning.

“The days of waiting for the birth of her baby were probably the best and worst days of Mary’s life. She of all people longed for the peace and comfort of Messiah. Though, how the baby kicking in her belly would bring it all to pass must certainly have seemed like a mystery.

“The scandal of the virgin birth of Jesus was just the beginning of a life that seemed doomed. Born under questionable circumstances, claiming to be one of many in a long line of “Messiahs,” and then a humiliating death on a Roman torture device. Only in God’s wisdom could such foolishness mean the salvation of the world.

“For Mary, the only response was faith, obedience, and waiting. And as we wait for the ultimate redemption of the foolishness of Christ, that’s our only response as well.”

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Cor. 1:18

For more on Advent, visit me at www.charitysingleton.com, and click on the “Advent” link to the left.