The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Do not fear

We, too, bear the burden of peace

"There was no place for them in the inn." It's a familiar phrase about Jesus' birth from Luke 2:7. In 2,000 years since, the world has witnessed phenomenal changes. Yet some things remain tragically unchanged, reminding us of our sinfulness and fear.

Bearing the Burden of Peace is a 10-inch tall, 8-pound bronze sculpture by mac gimse (sic) of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. One side shows the Virgin Mary holding the heavy burden of her pregnant stomach. But from the other side, one sees Joseph holding the baby Jesus up to the world. The sculpture is to be passed hand-to-hand so we can see it and feel its form and weight.

The sculptor passed it among some 800 participants at the Global Mission Event in Bozeman, Mont. In the pregnant Mary, one feels the despair of mothers worldwide who've lost a child. Mirrored in the infant Jesus' face is the vulnerability of children living amid war, famine, poverty and abuse. One can almost hear the angel's announcement to terrified shepherds: "Do not be afraid ... I am bringing you good news of a great joy for all the people, to you is born this day ... a Savior" (Luke 2:10-11).

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February issue


Embracing diversity