Luke 1:39-56, Sermon, Advent 4C, Advent, Hospitality, Impossible, Estrangement, Stranger, Sermon, Mary, Elizabeth, Visitation of Mary

Hospitality Heals Our Estrangement – An Advent Sermon On Luke 1:39-45

Throughout our lives we find ourselves in circumstances or situations that are strange, new, incomprehensible. They’re beyond our previous experience and more often than not they leave us feeling estranged from ourselves, an alien in our own life. You know what that’s like, right?

I wonder if that’s exactly how Mary feels. I wonder if her leaving in haste is the outer expression of her inner estrangement. I wonder if her leaving home reflects that she is not yet at home in herself.  Continue reading Hospitality Heals Our Estrangement – An Advent Sermon On Luke 1:39-45

You are More than the Circumstances of your Life

The Embrace of Elizabeth and the Virgin Mary (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
The Embrace of Elizabeth and the Virgin Mary (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

When I look at the various situations and circumstances of my life, the joys and sorrows, the successes and failures, the hopes and the disappointments, the struggles and the accomplishments, I so want to find hidden within them a fulfillment of something spoken to me by the Lord. I don’t think I’m alone in that. I don’t think I am all that different from you or anyone else. I think we all want that, even if we don’t know it. We want to believe.

We want to believe that our life and existence are more than our circumstances. We want to discover a value and meaning that is lasting and not situational. We want to know and experience God is with us. We long for something beyond the circumstances. It’s not about denying or ignoring our circumstances. It’s about believing through the circumstances rather than in the circumstances. It is a different way of believing than what we are used to.

Most of the time we take the facts of a situation, as we see them, and, using reason, come to a conclusion. That’s our usual way of believing. It’s characterized by rational thought, deductive analysis, and scientific thinking. We allow the circumstances of our lives to determine or at least strongly influence what we believe about God, the world, others, and our selves. Continue reading “You are More than the Circumstances of your Life”

Advent 4C – Greeting our Coming Salvation

Every year on the last Sunday of Advent, the Sunday before the Nativity, the lectionary presents us with a gospel concerning the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the Church’s reminder that the time of our salvation is approaching. In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When … Continue reading Advent 4C – Greeting our Coming Salvation