MIFA Interfaith Blog

After the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968, economic, social, and racial divisions threatened to tear Memphis apart. A diverse group of community and faith leaders came together and MIFA was created to confront the issues of poverty, hunger, and social division through service.

2020 brought another crisis to Memphis. In a series of blogs, some of our current-day faith leaders have taken time to express their visions and hopes on healing and coming out of the pandemic better and stronger as a community.

4th Sunday of Advent

The Fourth Sunday Advent we hear
the story of Mary going to visit Elizabeth and the child within her womb leaping for joy.
Leaping for what was to come,
who is to come,
who has been long-awaited
and long-expected…
the King of kings!
the Lord of lords!
the Savior of the whole world!
…in the form
Of a refugee,
A poor, small, baby?

As I sat with my two incredibly awesome
And beautiful
And small
And disarming
Premature babies in the NICU today
Listening to our worship service,
Experiencing their first Advent…
I couldn’t help but think that baby Jesus must have been a premie.

Because that’s how the God I know
And have experienced is.
Instead of coming in great, massive militaristic, political, and physical domineering power,
the God I have seen
and heard
and experienced
always shows up in the small
and the weak
and the lowly
and the vulnerable…
the utterly reliant
and needy
and dependent…

And who is more needy than a premie baby?

Yes, I believe that Jesus was a premie,
With no NICU,
No incubator,
No warmer
but that of his mother
who stayed up all that night
and many nights to follow,
worrying he was too small,
Too frail,
Too weak…
who did all she knew to do—
Hold him close,
Feed him,
Whisper how much she loved him,
And sing songs of joy.  

This afternoon,
As I looked across the room seeing Matt hold our small,
and absolutely wonderful,
love incarnate daughter,
And as I held our small,
and absolutely wonderful,
love incarnate daughter,
we did all we knew to do,
we joined in with the voices
of mommas
and daddies
and children before us
and with those this morning in our church,
without discussion or deliberation,
Matt and I began to sing to Luca and Joji,
“Gloria in Excelsis Deo!”

And for a moment we were singing along with Mary,
And we saw and heard and experienced Jesus,
The King of kings,
the Lord of lords,
The Savior of the whole world…
In a baby.

Glory to God in the highest!
Welcome to the world Joji and Luca
and into a family that is incredibly in love with you!  
We’ve been waiting for you
and your coming has changed us,

Rev. Dr. Peggy Jean Craig birthed her two beloved premie babies Mon., December 13, 2021

Rev. Dr. Peggy Jean Craig
Senior Pastor at Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Germantown

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