2 Kings 6-14
LUKE 1:26-38

December 8, 2019

Advent 2

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When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me.  Speaking words of wisdom … let it be … speaking words of wisdom.  LET IT BE.

No, Paul McCartney was not writing a song about the teenager who became the Mother of Christ Jesus our Savior and the Light of the world.  He was writing about his mum.  But his profound words … “And, when the broken hearted people living in the world agree there will be an answer … LET IT BE!”  Don’t we as people of faith. Know the answer?  Don’t we want to stand up and shout … stand up and sing … JOY TO THE WORLD the LORD has COME … LET EARTH RECEIVE HER KING!

Broken hearted … struggling … successful … everyday folk … if the discovery of Jesus Christ occurred on every street corner … on the farms providing the food … on the fishing ships at sea … in the homes of every shape and color and yes in the pews of churches … IF THE DISCOVERY of JESUS CHRIST was an element of the season wouldn’t we have our answer … and friends wouldn’t there be JOY to the WORLD?

It’s ADVENT … And, Mary as a precursor to Paul McCartney’’s words and perhaps his inspiration … in her conversation with the angel Gabriel told the angel who had come to this teenage girl telling her that she would be bearing the Son of God … the Savior of the world … Mary declared, “I am the Lord’s servant … LET IT BE!”

Oh, yes Lord … we are all called to be Your servants … we are called to be Your people … I am called to live my life for You Lord … LET IT BE.

Have you answered God lately?  Have you told God LET IT BE … I am your servant Lord?   In your quiet moments of prayer as you celebrate the fact that you know Jesus … that you understand God is alive and as the prophet Jeremiah wrote,  THE LORD has told those of us who are God’s people “I know the plans I have for you, they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future with hope.  When you call to me, says the Lord, when you call to me and come and pray to me I will listen to you.”

My goodness God has a plan … God will listen to us when we pray … and God’s plan if we buy into it.  If we understand it.  If we accept Jesus the Christ as our hope … as our guide … as our Savior … as our Lord … then that plan is a place for peace not a disaster because that plan is created by the Holy not by the world and it will give us a future with hope.

JOY my friends … God through Jesus with the guidance of the Holy Spirit should be filling each of us with joy … we should have the world’s biggest smiles and be nodding our heads in agreement with Paul’s writings REJOICE in the LORD ALWAYS!  AGAIN I SAY REJOICE! 

So, God has a plan for you and for me … are you listening?  If today is the day … how in the world would you answer God’s call?

It is the ADVENT SEASON and as we continue this unwrapping of CHRISTMAS perhaps stopping and considering Mother Mary is what we need to do.

We do need to find pause friends … if we are to sense God and experience lives focused on Jesus we cannot continue to get caught up in the world … making decisions tied to the world’s lust for money … the world’s hunger for power … the world’s insistence that we dismiss those whose personal opinions are not our own.

When Luke wrote the Gospel I can only imagine the interview that occurred with Mary, the mother of Jesus.  Mary who had walked along the roads with Jesus and His disciples.  Mary who had been below the cross as Jesus blood drained from the nails of the cross hearing her precious son and experienced the Son of God looking at her and saying that John was her son before John took her home.  Mary who saw Jesus alive again … Mary who knew Jesus lives again with God … is it any surprise that when that interview occurred when Luke asked her about the beginning that her words included what we have come to know as her song, MARY’s SONG from Luke’s first chapter beginning in verse 46.

Mary knew the complete story … Luke didn’t interview her right after the angel left … she didn’t tell her story on FACEBOOK the next day… she knew the complete story of Jesus when she spoke with Luke, just like we do, but in remembering those early days after meeting her relative Elizabeth, who was likewise surprisingly pregnant with the man we could know as John the Baptist.  After experiencing the miraculous power of God … Mary knew what she had to say.

I can only imagine Mary tearing up a little and looking at Luke saying.  Luke, after Elizabeth proclaimed “HAPPY is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill the promises he made …” Mary remembered declaring “WITH ALL MY HEART I GLORIFY THE LORD!  In THE DEPTHS of who I am … I REJOICE in GOD MY SAVIOR!”

So, let’s just stop there … God’s angel came to Mary and that visit had to have totally confused her plus she knew pregnancy before marriage would cause both her and Joseph to be shunned … put down … dismissed by the rule makers and gossipers of her time.   A teenage girl with marriage plans to Joseph … a girl who lived not amongst the wealthy but amongst the working poor was going to give birth to a boy who “will be great!  The Son of God.  God will give him the throne of David and His kingdom will have no end.”

My goodness the pressure … my goodness the confusion …

Church … how does it feel knowing that God has given you that same Jesus?  Jesus the Christ born of Mary but truly part of God “since the beginning because He was in the beginning with God.   Everything came into being through Him.  Through Him was and is Light.  His life would be the Light for all” … not just a selected few but John writes “FOR ALL PEOPLE.”

Are you ready to say yes again to taking on Jesus for your life.  To allow walking in the Light of Christ accepting His teaching over the world … being rejected by those who want to reject God’s lessons for their own gain … to go into mission … to share the Light … to answer the call and perhaps in the midst of your private personal prayer time when you afford God the time to call out to you … discover that in Jesus and God there is something you need to do.

WHAT WOULD YOUR ANSWER BE?   Are you ready to stand with me with a smile that radiates from you … declaring WITH ALL MY HEART I GLORIFY GOD!   Can you shout out that I REJOICE IN GOD MY SAVIOR … I REJOICE IN JESUS CHRIST the reason for this season … I REJOICE in JESUS CHRIST MY SAVIOR!

Church … Mary’s song … Mary’s call … she declares that through this obligation that “God has done great things for me.  HOLY is God’s name!  He lifts up the lowly … fills the hungry … scatters those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations …”. That God. … that Jesus … friends, when you connect with God … when you taken on Jesus … when the Holy Spirit directs you even in the midst of troubles we have reason to celebrate in joy!  We have reason because God is still God to say yes to God rather than reject God for the ease rejecting God can bring to us.

When people ask me how God feeds the poor … I say God does it when God’s people declare that poor people deserve to be fed.  Just look at our Food Pantry’s love for those who walk through the doors … I was asked by our Bishop this week to share something about St. Paul’s with my fellow clergy who were gathered together.  Something that showed how this church shows love for our neighbors reflective of God … showing how this church gets to know our neighbors … FOOD BISHOP.  Our Food Pantry is a place of love in the world.

You see church, God is calling us not to take on the impossible, which is what Mary’s call was.  God is calling us to use the talents and gifts that we have regardless of age or personal status … God is calling each of us to be difference makers in our world while shining the Light of Jesus Christ … while being joy-filled people … people willing to put aside the world and our plans so that God’s plans can be done because when we do that ours is a future with hope.

Elisha wasn’t going to sit back he wanted twice Elijah’s spirit so he persevered.  I remember how much I loved that Old Testament story as a boy.  Elijah the coach … Elijah the mentor but more importantly Elisha answering God by wanting more spirit not less.  Elisha saying HERE I AM LORD it is me!

Every day I am posting a song of the season to my FACEBOOK page.  Today’s song is MARY DID YOU KNOW.  The song writer gets us thinking “Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind me.  Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm.  Did you know when you kiss your little baby … you kiss the face of God.”

She answered God … she rejoiced in her faith.  We are needed by God … we are being called by God not just in this season of preparation but all the time … to be the person God has in mind.  To give ourselves up to God’s plan.  To be people who the world notices because of our love for all and our joy in life.

McCartney closes his song with “And, when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me.  Shine until tomorrow let it be …”. The bright Star of David I believe is shining every day … allow that light to guide your pathways. Be ready to join with Mary, the teenage girl who experienced the Holy and declared … “I AM THE LORD’s SERVANT.  LET IT BE WITH ME”. Not passing on Jesus’ teaching for someone else to follow; not living by the world’s directives that counter Jesus word but instead with joy declaring LET IT BE WITH ME … and then doing it!  Living for Jesus .. it’s the reason for this season!


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