As Worship and Creative Director, I am glad to be tasked with spearheading our Advent vision this year. One of the only suggestions I was given was that it might work well for the theme to be song-driven. Not long after my search for a theme and a song began, I came across a drawing titled “Mary & Eve” by a Roman Catholic nun named Sister Grace Remington, of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey.

Drawn in 2003, and despite Sister Grace not considering herself to be an artist – in fact, she told Stephen on the phone that this is one of only a few pieces she ever created – this image of the Virgin Mary and Eve reframes the concept of Jesus being the Last Adam, using female counterparts to effectively communicate the connections Paul made between Adam and Jesus in Romans 5:19 (“For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous”), as well as 1 Corinthians 15:45 (“So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit”).

In the drawing, Eve conveys feelings of shame, inner conflict, loss, grief, as Mary appears to knowingly assure her that these things will no longer be final; there will be hope after shame, peace after conflict, love after loss, and joy after grief. Freedom from the curse. The poignancy of the drawing grows and shifts as the viewer takes it in, from top to bottom, from Eve and Mary’s contrasting body language and facial expressions, to the implications of their respective relationships with the snake at their feet. I chose it because I could tell that there would be much to draw from, much to be said, and much to learn from studying it.

By now, you may be thinking, “But you were supposed to find a song! A drawing is not a song!” Well, luckily, a musician named Sandra McCracken (and friends) also took inspiration from this drawing, and wrote a song called “Mary Consoles Eve” for a compilation album entitled “Waiting Songs.” You’ll hear it a time or two in the coming weeks, and the music/lyrics are linked below.

Our imminent Advent sermon series, “Soon,” beginning this Sunday, will take inspiration from the drawing and the song. The subtext can be found in the song’s chorus: “Almost, not yet, already.” As I find myself smack-dab in the middle of my own pregnancy, this resonates with me personally – we’ve almost got a baby, but not yet, although the process is already well in motion. And just as we’re only a few months away from finding out how a baby turns our lives upside down, Eve and Mary are soon to find out how Jesus will turn the laws of sin and shame upside down, providing a path to redemption.

As Advent causes many of us to reflect on what it means to be in a period of waiting, my prayer for you is that you would be able to find hope, peace, love, and joy in the midst of your own waiting, whatever that looks like.

Mary Consoles Eve
Katy Bowser, Flo Paris, Sandra McCracken


Eve, my sister
The one who took the fall
Eve, my sister
Mother of us all
Lift up your head
Don’t hide your blushing face
The promised One
Is finally on His way
Almost, not yet, already
Almost, not yet, already
 

Eve, it’s Mary
Now I’m a mother too
The child I carry
A promise coming true
This baby comes to save us from our sin
A servant King, His kingdom without end

Almost, not yet, already
Almost, not yet, already

He comes to make his blessings flow
As far and wide as the curse is found
He comes to make His blessings flow
 
Almost, not yet, already,
Almost, not yet, already…soon

Eve, my sister
The one who took the fall
Eve, my sister
Mother of us all
The promised One
Is finally on His way
 

Listen to the full band version

Listen to the acoustic version

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