On Sunday, December 15, we will be exploring God’s call to Mary to be the mother of Jesus, and her song of praise to God, the glorious Magnificat. This story is found in the Gospel According to Luke, rather than the Gospel According to Matthew, so we will be spending our time with Luke on Sunday. Traditionally, Mary’s story is in connection with the lighting of the Third Candle of Advent, the Joy Candle. Mary’s story is indeed one of joy, as is her Magnificat. But it’s also a story of wonder, apprehension, and social justice. Mary’s song is a powerful one of God’s victory and liberation of the “lowly” from their oppressors. Mary’s song is just as relevant today in the midst of immigrants and refugees seeking shelter and safety; of those who are poor seeking food, clothing, shelter; of those who are ill seeking medical care and assistance; of the grieving seeking relief; of children, of people of color, of those who are LGBTQ+, being bullied, tortured, and murdered. It is a song of hope, peace, joy, and love that reminds us that God is with us, God journeys with the immigrant and the refugee; God sits with the hungry and the homeless at places like The Samaritan Center; God waits with the sick in the Emergency Departments and Urgent Care and on the phone with insurance companies; God grieves with those who are grieving, crying with those who cry. And God is with those who are bullied, traumatized, violated, tortured, and killed at the hands of evil. God is in the business of liberation. And Mary reminds us, too, that if those who are in positions of power do not help those in need, they will receive their due – God will cast down the mighty from their thrones and send the rich away hungry (“empty”). How scandalous! How disruptive! How offensive! But isn’t this the core of the gospel – the Good News? Isn’t Revolution what the oppressed poor needed then and what we need right now?
Join us for worship on Sunday as we explore joy, peace, and hope through Mary’s story and song, and the lighting of the Third Candle of Advent. We will sing two hymns from The New Century Hymnal (#116, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” [verses 1, 2, 7] for our Closing Hymn and #119, “My Soul Gives Glory to My God” [verses 1, 2, 3] for our Opening Hymn). Our Peace Song will be “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” which we will continue singing through Epiphany. Our Closing Circle song is “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” which we will continue singing through Epiphany, as well.
Looking forward to spending time with you on Sunday,