… As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. – Luke 1:46-50 and 54-55

*   *   *

One year, Life magazine published a special Christmas season edition that focused on Mary. Included where thumbnail-size reproductions of paintings, sculpture, and engravings of the Madonna and Child from many different times and places. At the time, I was also teaching this text to the teens and preteens in our Meeting, so I distributed the portraits around the room and waited for the reactions.

The whole point, of course, is that Mary, Jesus, and Joseph could look like any of us. They appeal to the entire world, and reflect it.

*   *   *

But though it be a Day of Trial, in which every ones Work must be tried as by Fire, and of sore Exercise with the Creature, yet is there a secret Hope lieth hid under all this, which is as an Anchor to the Soul, sure and stedfast, founded upon that Rock which endures for ever; and this bears it up above those Floods of Persecution, which the Dragon spues out of his Mouth, to drown that heavenly Birth that the Power of God is bringing forth within, which when it is brought forth, and comes to have the Government in the Soul, it must, shall and will reign over Death, Darkness, Sin and Corruption, and all the Powers of Hell and the Devil. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)


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