Advent 2021: Born for Forgiveness by Valerie Glover-Graham
"In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her."
4th Day After Christmas
December 29, 2021
Born for Forgiveness
The angel Gabriel told Mary that she would have a son and that she was to name him Emmanuel. His birth would be an Immaculate Conception. The baby would be the son of the most high God and become the spirit of a faith that has transcended countless generations.
As we faithfully lift our songs of praise during this season, we seek deliverance from bigotry, tyranny, and oppression. Jesus’ spirit encouraged named and un-named martyrs who sought liberation and pressed for justice. In many cases, the men’s contributions were better known. But, we are acquainted with the work of Ida B. Wells, Fannie Lou Hamer, Shirley Chisolm, and Stacey Abrams.
The parables that record Jesus’ lessons birthed determination and faith for those ancestors and continue to influence activists and followers today. We do not want to be misguided by wealth or other secular trappings that turn us against each other or lead us to ignore the homeless, the incarcerated, and suffering neighbors. This behavior has no value in Jesus’ kingdom. We must reject the stereotypes and slander that have crept into our culture. As servants for Jesus, let all of us be accountable and adhere to the message that He delivered. This is the spirit that must remain with us at Advent and in all the seasons that follow.
Holy Spirit, rain down on us that we might be the people with whom you are pleased. In all seasons we seek your guidance. Amen.
Sister Valerie Glover-Graham
Kelly Lay Organization
Join us in a time of reflection, expectation, and contemplation during the season of Advent 2021.
Each day a new reflection with a scripture and prayer will be posted on the Metropolitan AME Church website and social media to encourage you to hear the words of those reflecting, anticipating, and contemplating with you in community as we thank God for what God has done, notice what God is actively doing and anticipate what God will do next.
Read along with us each day or download the book to read and write along with us offline.