We just found out that Beth is pregnant! It comes as a bit of a surprise; but we are overwhelmed with joy. For Beth’s excellent narration see our family blog.
I have been feeling super excited about it. The Lord has a way of ‘forcing’ you to be blessed. In this case I have been floored by the utter responsibility involved in having a child, as well as the complete sacrifice of the woman giving up her body as a means of new life. On my end, I feel so privileged to be both involved and able to watch new life grow. So as I have been thinking about the whole picture of a woman giving up her body for the Lord to grow a new life in her, a number of pictures in the NT have taken on a whole new weight.
At least twice that I can think of, Paul talks about himself as a mother to the churches he has established (I Thess. 2:7). He speaks of going through the pains of childbirth for them, that Christ might be formed in them. Before, this translated to “he suffered for them.” Now more than ever, I see that it is more along the lines of “he gave up his freedom, body, and even life that they might be made new, having been born of the Spirit.” The Lord brought new life via his willingness to suffer strive and nourish the infantile church. His desire is fed by a love of Christ, longing to see His glory abound in the world. Similarly, to reiterate the analogy, the mother gives up her freedom, her body, and in many cases even her life for the sake of a new life being born; the most momentous and painful point being the birth itself.
I am sure that there is much to say about Mary, and the picture she is of birthing the True Israel, carrying the seed of Genesis 3:15 and so on…..but I won’t venture there. Maybe when my confidence in my hermeneutics is boosted a bit I will. Despite the danger of taking the picture/analogy too far, it does seem noteworthy that Mary carries the seed of the Holy Spirit in order to birth new life. So too, maybe it is the minister’s calling to faithfully bear the word, the imperishable seed, that new life might be born in those under his care. Not sure about it, but there it is.
Anyway, I need to get some work done. Please pray for us!