Advent 4: An Awful and Wondrous Yes

By Jan Richardson

Image: Annunciation II © Jan Richardson

Reading from the Gospels, Advent 4, Year B: Luke 1.26-38

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord;
let it be with me according to your word.”
—Luke 1.38

A Blessing for After

This blessing
is for the moment
after clarity has come,
after inspiration,
after you have agreed
to what seemed

This blessing
is what follows
after illumination departs
and you realize
there is no map
for the path
you have chosen,
no one to serve
as guide,
nothing to do
but gather up
your gumption
and set out.

This blessing
will go with you.
It carries no answers,
no charts,
no plans.
It carries no source
of light
within itself.

But in its pocket
is tucked a mirror
that, from time to time,
it will hold up to you

to remind you
of the radiance
that came
when you gave
your awful and wondrous

—Jan Richardson

2015 update: “Blessing for Rejoicing” appears in my new book Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons. You can find the book here.

For previous reflections on this passage, click the images or titles below:

Home for the Holidays

Door 20: Getting the Message

Resources for the Season: Into Advent

[To use the image “Annunciation II,” image please visit this page at Your use of helps make the ministry of The Advent Door possible. Thank you!]

2 Responses to “Advent 4: An Awful and Wondrous Yes”

  1. Sue Joiner Says:

    I love you, Jan! How I wish we could share a meal and reflect together again. It has been way too long! Your words touch me on so many levels. Thank you for all the ways you find to share your gift with us.

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Thank you, Sue! I love you, too! It’s wonderful to hear from you—thank you. I think of you often and miss you and would love to share a meal. Perhaps the next year or two will bring a trip to your part of the world—would love to return to NM!

      Thank you for the gift of your words. Deep blessings to you and yours this Christmas and beyond.

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