BLT – from ashes to honor

I loved the readings this week. I was so encountered by the love of God and the beautiful justice that is his song of love. 

In a place and time where women were overlooked and judged for inability to produce offspring this week we met Hannah, Elizabeth and Mary. Women judged and misunderstood. Women with hearts of gold. Women who knew a God that met them in empty spaces and unfulfilled dreams – women who were given a home in barrenness and whose wombs were filled with life and rejoicing. 

Women who mothered children who would change nations, appoint kings, prophecy of and baptist the Messiah and parent the Saviour of the world. These women outwardly appeared failures to society and there they were doing the unseen work of investing into their next generation.

As a mother I cannot help but be encouraged by these beautiful women.

I cannot help but be blessed by God who notices those who are in the dust – poor and unnoticed – and raises them up. 

God is not, will never be limited by our outward circumstances but we limit him by the bitterness of our hearts toward our circumstances. 

This week I want to come knelt down and poor with a beautiful, broken heart and let Him do his good work.

This is my prayer, these are my meditations as I contemplated these women, those who await deliverance from the ash heap, and our new place at the table, a place clothed in robes of righteousness.

The readings I based this stitching on.

1 Samuel 2v8
He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honour. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world.

Psalm 113 v 7-9
He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
 to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. 

He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!

Luke 1:39-57

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?
For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.
 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. 

Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.

Many thanks to Rachel Held Evans for this invitation to reflect and journey with the lectionary.

If these encourage you and you want to share them, I would love to know, also please acknowledge them as my work via a link. 


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