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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

1015: The mystery of the incarnation is not meant to baffle us

Day 1015: Monday, December 26, 2022

Listening the Day after Christmas

The mystery of the incarnation is not meant to baffle us

In the birth of Jesus, God becomes one with us — Emmanuel — among us and within us. The mystery of the incarnation is not meant to baffle us; rather, for those of us who reflect on it, this mystery is an endless source of profound lessons in faith. They come as opportunities to recognize Emmanuel and welcome this humble and loving God who has many faces and yet remains hidden.

Mary said, “With all my heart I glorify the Lord! In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior. . . . He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.” —Luke 1:46–47, 52, Common English Bible

The child growing inside Mary is an act of resistance, and there is nothing meek or mild in her declaration of soul force. . . . Like Mary, we feel the oppression of her people and the hope of the world in her body. But often we silence our body’s lament or expectation.

- Jeannie Alexander, Keep Watch with Me

Episcopal priest Claire Brown provides this mindful body practice inspired by Mary:

Today we practice listening to that body wisdom and prophecy.

Find a quiet, comfortable position.

Close your eyes, and bring your attention to your breath.

Notice the places where your body rests: on your chair, feet on the floor, hands in your lap.

Let the rhythm of your breath lead your attention across your body, starting from your toes and feet to your legs and knees; your seat, belly, and back; your arms, hands, and fingers; your chest, shoulders, and neck; your face and head.

Spend time noticing where pressure, tension, or relaxation are in your body without rushing past, judging, disciplining, and fixing.

Let your body speak its Christmas prayer.

Experience a version of this practice through video and sound:

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