It was one of those moments of epiphany, of such shocking clarity that it makes you wonder how you could have ever missed something so obvious, so self-evident that it makes you question your base-line intelligence. Reading Mary’s response to the news of her impregnation and chosenness, what we often call the “Magnificat”, the absolute power of it hit me. This is no song of “soft and gentle” Jesus, but a revolutionary anthem. This is the full throated response to a people who have been brutally oppressed declaring that the time for submission is over and the liberator is afoot. It is the pent up yearnings of generations finding voice in the rallying cry of the unlikeliest of messengers.
This Christmas eve we’ll gather up on Mt. Sequoyah and read these revolutionary words again and tell the story in song of our liberation. In the midst of all the ways we’ve dressed it up and watered it down, the words and the story around them still have the power to give us hope and declare that hope to a world still longing for a savior.
Grace and peace y’all,
John Ray and the teaching team
Joy is complicated. Joy is a promise, a gift and in some ways the goal of our life in God.
Some people easily express joy outwardly, while others nurture it inwardly. Some people don’t feel worthy to experience it and others don’t even know what it means. The birth of Jesus is a, if not THE, “joyful event” that can overcome our sadness and fulfill our longings.
Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who’ve sinned against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory forever. Amen.
No gathering Sunday Dec 31. Meet again Jan 7 in the Chapel at CUMC.