Summary: Mary, the mother of Jesus, responds to what she has been told about her son with a bold declaration about God’s habit of overturning the status quo. Mary speaks about God as one who will not let powerless and discarded people remain trapped in those conditions. Her words offer more than wishful hope or religious platitudes; they restlessly and impatiently urge God to spring into action. Listening to Mary respond to her pregnancy has particular poignancy for Christians during Advent: she rouses us into action and expectation. This passage also can help citizens of certain nations think about the long-running war our countries continue to wage, leading us to consider its costs and burdens and to join God in God’s commitment to fostering a different kind of existence.
Summary: Tragedies, like the mass slaughter of schoolchildren in Connecticut, prompt some to offer cringe-worthy declarations about how God might be or not be active in our lives. But the song of Mary, Jesus’ mother, teaches us to speak about God more responsibly.
Summary: What should we make of those strange parts of the Gospels where Jesus speaks about his future return? Texts like these encourage anything but passive waiting for “pie in the sky.” They call us to see and to ally ourselves with ways in which Jesus is among us.
Summary: Advent stumbles into sentimentalism when it leads us to romanticize winter and pretty little white lights. Rather, in waiting for Jesus, we proclaim that God will drive away the night and the falsehoods enveloping our world—once and for all. The posture of Advent is a posture of protest.
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Summary: In this video I offer reflections on the distinctive opportunities the season of Advent presents to preachers. My focus in the video is especially on the first chapters of Luke’s Gospel.
This video was prepared for those who preach or teach. Watch it at Working Preacher.