We’ve heard it in countless speeches: “I wouldn’t be where I am without…” Various people with various roles and titles have filled in this blank. Mentors, parents, grandparents, siblings, friends. These are people for whom the speaker feels grateful. These are people without whom the speaker would be a completely different person.
This advent, we dare wonder who Jesus would mention if he were to finish this sentence during a speech. “I wouldn’t be where I am without…” We dare wonder who-- if missing from the advent story-- would completely change the narrative and reality of Christ’s arrival. There are many names that can fill in this blank for Jesus. But this advent season, we focus intentionally on the names of four women: Elizabeth, Mary, “the midwife”, and Anna. Four women without whom the advent story-- and Jesus Himself-- wouldn’t have been the same.