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Curious blessings: gathering the graces

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19: The wise men, we read, left their encounter with the child Jesus, rejoicing. Having received their gifts, Jesus’ mother Mary, treasured up all that had happened in her heart. Over the past few weeks, we have explored different understandings of blessing, through the stories of the coming of Jesus into the world. There’s a lot in these stories! They’re rich with beauty and challenge in equal measure. There may be parts you’ve read that have been difficult. There may have been parts you’ve read which have deeply resonated with you. You may have felt a sense of invitation. I invite you to take a moment to notice these things, how perhaps God has been present to you in all you have read, and to gather the graces of your journey towards Christmas. Go back to what has been significant to you and store it up in your heart. Remember in gratitude the ways that God has been present and generous to you over the past few weeks. Here are a few questions that might help you as you reflect: Are there times and ways you have perhaps been blessed through things that are unexpected or less than obvious? When you look over your own journey, what blessings are you able to say you received in your journeying and encounters? How has your awareness of God’s presence in your life grown or shifted? Where do you still long for Christ to come? May you, looking back over the journey thus far, See the grace of God in your life. May you receive the strange and surprising gifts your story has to offer you. May you, like Mary, ponder them in your heart and find solace in them. And may the places where you long for Christ to come, receive his presence.

Johanna Derry Hall

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