… And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. … – Luke 1:46 -50 and 54 -55

*   *   *

Whatever is about to happen, Mary observes, is a culmination of centuries of faithful families and households. The Nativity has its roots in the antiquity of Jewish practice and teaching. Now a new generation is coming.

Or, as a Mennonite woman once told me, in their tradition, God has no grandchildren.

The tradition is not handed down to a new generation, but handed over!

*   *   *

O! then ’tis a Time of Heaviness and of great Sadness with the Soul; Sleep departing from the Eyes, and Slumber from the Eye-lids, because of Grief in the Night-season; it being truly the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, even the Time when the Seed of Jacob is travailing to bring forth; and therefore doth that Dragon, the Devil, as in the general, so in the particular, seek to destroy this Birth. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)


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