Wednesday, December 14, 2011
4th Sunday in Advent: Love
I hope you are enjoying this Advent season at The Water's Edge as much as I am. Many thanks to all who have helped with our weekly lighting ceremony, and to everyone for participating in the "call and reponse" of our Advent readings.
This week's candle -- the fourth -- represents LOVE.
God sent love in the form of an angel to tell Mary about what was to happen. And Mary, I'm still amazed, answered with a loving, trusting heart.
'Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’
And then, she breaks into song! I don't know if I would have had the strength or the wisdom to do the same; to trust God so completely that you just do it. Even when I am considering my own call toward ministry, I come up with a handful of different scenarios and run them by God, as if He's going to pick and chose from a list of my possiblities/plans. (You wanna make God laugh? You know the punchline).
Mary's trusting nature fits in so well with our churchwide theme of "More than you asked for..." It's true. We've all experienced it to some extent and many of you have shared those experiences in our Sunday discussions. We ask for X; God delivers X, Y, and Z. And we could never have predicted how great it would be. How to remember and trust that... well, maybe, it would work if we remembered what the angel said to Mary.
When she asked "How can this be?"
The angel answered "... For nothing will be impossible with God."
If we could just remember that in our daily outreach -- whether dealing with a rude co-worker or a close friend stuck in an addictive cycle or a neighbor who's lost a job - when the situations we're in seem like they'll never change, we have but to remember that 'nothing will be impossible with God.'
Consider those words when we're praying this Sunday. We've gathered a list of "more than we asked for" for ourselves, for others, for our church, and now we will ask prayers for the world. Let 'er rip! Lose your mind! Ask for the biggest and the wildest thing you can imagine. World peace? An end to hunger? No more war? Economic stability? Ask! And remember what Mary knew: "nothing will be impossible with God."
I will miss this Sunday and Darin, who's returning from school, will be assisting Elbert, with help from Simon and Evan. Molly is in the sanctuary and I'm officiating a wedding in Berkeley. My dear friend, whom I've known since we were 3 years old (that's us in her parent's crazy 1970s flowered kitchen), is getting married and she asked me to perform the ceremony. I'm honored and excited. I hope and pray that officiating this sacred union is the beginning of something big... Why not? Nothing's impossible, right?
You're in my prayers and my heart, always!
See you on Christmas Eve (if not sooner).