December 18, 2020
Wisdom, strength and grace
She brought God into the world
Fully human. Mom.
Dear Lake B Friends and Family,
In a conversation about Advent, a friend of mine asked me today,
“What do you think is the whole point of Jesus’ coming into the world?”
I love beautiful questions. It’s probably a question that we ask of ourselves too, right? What is the reason we are here? The Good News is that Advent is the perfect time of year to revisit this question for each of us AND for sure, for the Church as a whole.
I don’t think the baby Jesus was a revolutionary lying there in the manger. I don’t think as a toddler, Jesus was pushing against the power of the empire. Maybe Jesus was just like any of the children we have in our own midst – the ones that run around Cookie Heaven on Sunday mornings? The ones playing tag in the prayer labyrinth; the ones that climb trees and find themselves on top of the breezeways. (I’m not naming names here, you know who you are and we love you!).
Jesus, like each of us, was formed by those closest to him, most especially perhaps his mother, Mary.
Imagine that these words, best known to us as Mary’s Magnificat, a song that was sung over him not just once, but many, many times throughout his life:
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.
Jesus’ own first sermon in Luke, echoes so closely his mother’s prophetic words:
“The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor.” Luke 4:18-19.
Jesus believed and grew into the purpose for his life, into the words spoken over him by his mother and his community.
“Why did You come into the world?
It is not a far reach at all to extend this question to the Body of Christ, the Church. Why are we here? I hope that we, like Christ, hear the formative words that give us our identity. Perhaps we can borrow some of Mary’s words as prophetic blessing over our own lives – especially the words about showing mercy. I hope these same words shape us into becoming who we are called to be in the world.
Yes, Advent is about Christ being born into the world. I suggest also that Advent reveals to us the reason for our own being born again – and sent into the world as those who follow Christ.
May we live as anointed and filled with the Spirit to continue Christ’s work; to feed the hungry, comfort those who suffer, to lift the poor, and liberate those who are oppressed.
May Christ be revealed to us and revealed in us this Advent,
Note: On behalf of all of our staff, I’d like to thank the Session and the congregation for providing us a much needed break in the coming weeks. We are extremely grateful for a congregation that demonstrates, in very practical ways, care for our wellbeing. I hope you will really consider visiting other Church services during the next three Sundays. You can find all the information you need below – and it will also be posted at www.lbpc.org. I also encourage you to visit the church youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT3R_B6euNKGvayKM2l4aog and check out any of the services we’ve had since March! They are all there!