If you are opposed to preaching or Christianity, or if you are offended or embarrassed by the content of this post, feel free to skip it and move on.
Well, here I am again and I am working on a sermon for the fourth Sunday of Advent, the Gospel reading for which includes the Magnificat (Mary's Song) in response to being chosen to be the mother of Jesus. There are many schools of thought as to the authenticity of the virgin birth and I am not going to debate those here, because in my book the exact circumstances surrounding the birth are far secondary to the reasons for Christ's birth, life, death, and resurrection. For those who choose to believe and those who choose to disbelieve the virginity of Mary, you are welcome to your own opinions -- and please remember that, without absolute proof -- they are that -- opinions.
But I digress. Whatever the terms of the call of God on Mary for that first Christmas, I wonder how you or I would respond to God's call for us. Let's look at Mary's situation for a moment. First, she was unmarried and pregnant -- not a good place for a girl in that time. Her very life was in peril, not to mention all the plans that she and Joseph had made. Surely he wouldn't want "damaged goods." She faced humiliation, rejection, ridicule, and more. Her dreams or hopes for her future went out the window. Yet, did she protest and complain? Not according to Luke's account of things. Not only did she acede to the will of God, but she praised God for being chosen. Her call and its affect on her life make our calls often seem insignicant, yet we gripe, complain, protest, refuse, question, doubt, and do most anything we can to get out of doing what we are called to. Hmmmm. We are too busy; we aren't good enough; it doesn't fit our plans; we don't want to be placed in danger; we aren't willing to risk; and the list of refusals goes on and on. What if we not only willingly answered God's call, but did so with praise and rejoicing. What if we realized that it is not we who accomplish these things, but that it is God working in and through us that accomplishes them. It is God working through willing vessels (us/Mary) that changes the world. We are in fact called to birth Christ in our world. Are we up to the task? How will we respond on this last Sunday (and indeed the last day) of Advent? Are we ready? Ready or not, God's gift is about to be unveiled on the world! Does your soul magnify the Lord? Is your spirit rejoicing in God?
Well, I didn't mean to preach here -- I was simply floating some ideas for your input. But -- hey -- God has called me to preach, so maybe that is why this messsage is here. All I need to do for Sunday is copy and paste this post, do a little editing and expanding, and I think it will preach. Thanks for putting up with a pondering preacher.