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4 Advent - Luke 1:39-45

It's hard enough getting old, dealing with daily aches and pains, having less energy and more doctor's appointments, managing the additional worry that comes with wisdom, knowing too much and controlling too little.

The body sags and creaks from carrying around grief and regrets and the abandoned scaffolding of dreams that never came true.

The mind, meanwhile, bounces around like a new puppy, as youthful and distracted and undisciplined as ever, like a V-8 engine trapped in a VW bus.

Then you get pregnant.

Your husband hasn't spoken to you for months.

What started as welcome relief has now gotten old.

He's unable to talk because he was unable to trust God; did we mention that he's a priest?

Her belly is growing and growling as her body does weird, wild things; sleep is not one of them.

There is no muscle memory to draw upon; this will be her first child.

All she has to go on are the secondhand horror stories from much younger, stronger women.

There's a knock at the door.

A lightning bolt of pain rattles through her; her baby kicks like he's trying to escape.

"Come in."

She hardly recognizes the face—one of a distant relative's daughters?

Why is she traveling alone?—this can't be good.

The girl has a glow about her that makes it impossible for her to hide the panic in her eyes: she's pregnant too.

Meanwhile, the baby inside is now lighting and setting off bottle rockets.

There are no words to describe the tornado of chaos and peril and pain now tearing through the kitchen.

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.

Why am I so fortunate, that the mother of my God is my house guest?

My child leaps for joy at the sound of your voice."

And finally, loud enough for her half-deaf husband across the house to hear it, And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of