Post Author: Erica Schemper
Fulfill in us the coming of Christ.
May we, O God,
Like Mary, treasure and guard the coming of your kingdom deep within us
Nourishing it as it grows,
Delighting in its first flutterings,
cradling its growing weight in our hands,
until it is ready to come and call out to the world. Amen.
If your path involves motherhood, the odds are pretty good that you will be in some way waiting for motherhood to begin during an Advent season. This year, I know pastor-moms who are in a variety of states of waiting: trying, waiting to announce, announcing, waiting for paperwork, waiting for a referral, and ready to deliver.
Two Advents ago, I realized I was pregnant during a sermon on the annunciation. For a variety of reasons, the timing of this baby was horrible. As my head pastor explained all of the reasons the angel might tell Mary “Do not be afraid” I knew three things for sure: I was pregnant; I was very afraid; and I had better come up with a good explanation in case anyone in the congregation noticed that I was turning a shade of green in front of their eyes.
Our waiting in Advent is informed by many versions of waiting for the coming of Christ. Mary’s waiting for his birth might be the most distilled version. Women waiting for motherhood have incredible access to that experience.
I wrote this prayer as a way of exploring that version of waiting.
Erica Schemper serves as Associate Pastor for Children and Youth at Fox Valley Presbyterian Church in Geneva, IL. This Advent, her family is still waiting for a Christmas tree. Don’t hold your breath.