Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.
“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.’” (Luke 1.41-42)
Main Readings: Micah 5.2-5a; For the Psalm: ‘Song of Mary’ (APBA p.31 or p.425) or Psalm 80.1-7; Hebrews 10.5-10; Luke 1.39-45 (46-55)
Supplementary: Psalm 113; Matthew 1.18-25; Isaiah 66.18-23; Psalm 18.27-38; Revelation 20.11-21.5
Like Mary, I had a son at a young age. Even though I had just left school, I knew I was responsible for carrying this son, raising him and my future three sons to be strong, dependable men so they would care for their families and Elders. Also, like Mary, I had cousins who were pregnant at the same time as me in my Kuku Yalanji community in Mossman. We raised our children together and were always welcomed by our family and community members, who looked out for us and our bubbas. We were cared for by the Elders, who cooked us fresh Milku (mullet) soup, which is very high in omegas and thus nourishing for babies
I heard this scripture being read recently in church. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard it. What stood out to me when listening to the minister preach was how precious it is to God that women bear children. God nourished and guided me in my own pregnancies, especially through my family and community who welcomed and cared for me.
I think that stigma remains in the wider community when young women become pregnant – they are still sometimes shunned. We all need to do our bit to support any woman who is pregnant, especially given all she is going through with hormone changes, morning sickness, an identity shift and the new pressure of responsibility. How we view women impacts how we treat them.
Being a welcoming people means caring for all expectant mums, just as Elizabeth and Mary cared for each other.