Second Sunday of Advent

This week the lectionary puts us in Luke 1, with Mary’s song. Here, upon learning that she would bear the Christ child (!!) Mary sings this joyous-slash-apocalyptic hymn. (Or Luke says she does!)

I struggled to find a poem that captured well what Mary was thinking or feeling, without being to overt (read: Christmasy). But I chose this little poem by Kathleen Norris that I think touches on this a bit. It’s a little odd in some aspects–it’s not entirely clear who the speaker or subject is. Is this Eve speaking? Is this Eve as Mother of Creation or as wife of Adam? Is this spoken to her children or to Adam?

My answer is “yes,” all of those. And I’ll add an addition: I think Mary as Mother of Christ, the bearer of God (theotokos), could be saying this to her son.

Mrs. Adam

I have lately come to the conclusion that I am Eve,
alias Mrs. Adam. You know, there is no account
of her death in the Bible, and why am I not Eve?
Emily Dickinson in a letter,
12 January, 1846

Wake up,
you’ll need your wits about you.
This is not a dream,
but a woman who loves you, speaking.

She was there
when you cried out;
she brushed the terror away.
She knew
when it was time to sin.
You were wise
to let her handle it,
and leave that place.

We couldn’t speak at first
for the bitter knowledge,
the sweet taste of memory
on our tongues.

Listen, it’s time.
You were chosen too,
to put the world together.

About Lauren Sawyer

I am an assistant instructor at a graduate school in Seattle, Washington, and I hold a master of the arts in theology and culture. I love coffee, rainy days, and John Updike. Learn more about me at