Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Pregnant with grace

Do you ever see a pregnant woman and wish that you too were swollen with life?  She is so obviously fruitful.  Every part of her body is working hard to nurture her little one within her and it seems like you drag your redundant body around in the world and are about as salubrious as candy.

But surely babies are not the only fruit that women bear?  Not the only fruit, but some might argue the most important.  When we think of Mary, mother of Jesus we might think first of her physical fruit-bearing i.e. she bore Jesus as the 'fruit of her womb'.  So that makes her womb the most important and fruitful part of her, right? So that means the most important and fruitful part of every woman is her womb?  I don't think so!  Because when we meet Mary, she is not yet pregnant.  The fruit of her lips is obedience.  And the fruit of her heart is love for God.  The pregnancy that follows makes her 'full of grace', because she is full of Jesus.  We too can be full of Jesus.  He promised that He would make His home in us.  We can produce life-giving fruit with thoughts and obedient lips that proclaim all things true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable (Philippians 4:8).   We can offer the fruit of forgiving others because our heart is full of gratitude that God has forgiven us through Jesus.

The very real sacrifices of pregnancy and motherhood can teach us many things but they are not the only means God uses to teach us and bear fruit.  He could only be contained in Mary's womb because He chose to be, for a time.  Now, He chooses to bear fruit in His church and in each member of His body whether they have a womb or not.

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