Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Year B Visitation of Mary Observed Contemplative Service 2018

Year B Visitation of Mary, 27 May 2018
St. James the Less Episcopal Church
"Saying Yes to God"

Outline of extemporaneous talk:

Luke 1:39-57  (NRSV)

39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

46 And Mary said,

My soul magnifies the Lord,
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
    and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.

  • Mary said yes to God.
    • Story told that the angel Gabriel sought for years and years for a woman who would say yes to God and bear the Christ child.
    • We should say yes to God
    • When we say yes to God, I think several things happen that this passage reminds us
  • Our soul magnifies the Lord (Just like Mary's did)
    • As the Magnificat begins: "My sould magnifies the Lord..."
    • We are not magnified, we are the magnifying glass, and we are letting God be bigger to those that encounter us
  • The Spirit is drawn to Spirit
    • When we say yes to God, others who do the same connect with us and are even drawn to us
    • Just like the words at the end of a yoga class, Namaste, the spirit in me recognizes the spirit in you.
    • The baby (John the Baptizer) "leaped in Elizabeth's womb" 
    • Elizabeth thanked God that Mary, her younger cousin, said yes!
  • "The world turns upside down"
    • I do not use these words lightly, name of the song the British played when they surrendered at Yorktown. Mightiest empire failed.
    • "He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly..."
    • The whole order can and will be changed as we get into God's plan by saying yes
  • Say yes to God when he calls, like Isaiah in this morning's passage, "Here am I, send me."

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Blessings, Rock