Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Humanity and God

Wednesday. August 15, 2007 -- Week of Proper 14
(St. Mary the Virgin, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ)

"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site at this location --

Audio Podcasts of today's "Morning Reflection" and those from the past week are available from (go to St. Paul's Home Page and click "Morning Reflection podcast")

Today's Readings for the Daily Office

EITHER the readings for Wednesday of Proper 14 (p. 978)
Psalms 101, 109:1-4(5-19)20-30 (morning) 119:121-144 (evening)
2 Samuel 14:21-33
Acts 21:15-26
Mark 10:17-31

OR the readings for St. Mary's Day (p. 999)
Morning Prayer: Psalms 113, 115 / 1 Samuel 2:1-10 / John 2:1-12
Evening Prayer: Psalms 45 or 138, 149 / Jeremiah 31:1-14 or Zechariah 2:10-13 / John 19:23-27 or Acts 1:6-14

I read the readings for St. Mary

This is basic stuff. A mother and child. That's how we all came into the world. It's universal. The love between mother and child is fundamental. If our memories could go back far enough, we would all know the same thing. We were nourished and carried within the womb of our mothers. From there we have varied stories of beginnings. But there is something basic and universal in our origins with every other human being on earth.

In Mary we have an icon of God with us. We recognize God entering into human life completely through Mary's willing cooperation. The image of mother and child becomes a picture of the intimacy between God and creation. The motherly nurture of the budding spiritual presence which is God with us. The vulnerability of God's pouring out divine life into our experience. The powerful and universal love that connects humanity to God and God to humanity.

Hannah's song rejoices how God reverses everything. We can sing with her. God has come to us from the exalted distantness of the Holy -- eternity, transcendence, otherness. God has become baby. And the lowly woman is exalted into Glory -- Mary, the mother of God. Humanity births divinity.

John shows us in the first sign of Jesus what this union brings to life. Water becomes wine. Abundant wine. Hundreds of gallons of wine, to oil the celebration of another basic union in the wedding of Cana. Joy. Joy abundant. Community and union. The many made one. The other united. Complete reconciliation. All life is interwoven and filled with divinity. Our waterly humanity sparkles with new taste and color, fragrance and complexity. Our heads may spin with the joy of it. And, we know, it is not completely safe. There is danger present in the wine and in the sword that will pierce the heart of this woman, the nails that will pierce the child.

Today we celebrate the spirit of the woman who said "yes." She is our model for how the divine enters into the human. We recognize in the most basic of human conditions the union between God and humanity. All of us are one -- with each other and with God. This is the wine that is the elixir of life.



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The Rev. Lowell Grisham
Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, AR

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at

Our Rule of Life:
We aspire to...
worship weekly
pray daily
learn constantly
serve joyfully
live generously.


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