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  • Bill Miller

Scripture Reflection, December 24, 2023, Fourth Sunday of Advent

2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 Romans 16:25-27 Luke 1:26-38

Today’s Gospel is one of my favorites from Luke. In it, we hear the Angel Gabriel calling Mary to be the Mother of Jesus. I’d like to lead you on a little “prayer adventure” using this wonderful story as our starting point.

We will use an adaption of a practice called lectio divina (translated from Latin it means divine reading). It is sometimes used as a powerful way to converse with God in prayer.

The text we will use for prayer is not directly from scripture, but is based on a beautiful Advent hymn titled: “Be Born in Me”. This lovely hymn, written by Christian composer Nichole Nordeman, was originally sung by another Christian artist named Francesca Battistelli. The story is told from the perspective of Mary. It is a presentation of what might have been going through her mind as she pondered the words of the Angel Gabriel. It is also a powerful invitation to each of us; asking us to ponder what it would mean to invite God into our hearts in a profound way this Christmas.

Here are the steps to follow:

Go to a computer and type the words: YouTube Music into your search engine.

When YouTube Music comes up, open it. (Note, you can use this site free of charge, if you don’t mind a few commercials. That’s what I do.)

At the top of the YouTube Music page there is a search feature. Type in the Words: Be Born in Me, Francesca Battistelli.

You will be given several choices. Pick a version of the song that is sung by Francesca. (The version that pops up as the most popular on my computer is a version that is about 4 minutes and 42 seconds long; and does include the lyrics, printed on the screen as she sings them.). Having the lyrics in front of you makes it easier to do the reflection.

Listen to the combination of the lyrics and the music. Concentrate on a word, phrase or sentence that really stands out in your mind…speaks to your heart. Then, simply let the Holy Spirit be your guide as you meditate on the song - especially the part(s) that speak to you. Think about how the Annunciation must have felt to Mary. Then, consider the implications of what welcoming Christ into your own heart in a special way this Christmas could mean for you. Enjoy your prayer time.

by Bill Miller

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