Advent 3 December 15, 2019 – Sermon

Advent 3 December 15, 2019 Ps 113, Isaiah 35, Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:39-56 **************************************************************** Long after the United Kingdom of Israel under David and Solomon a thousand years earlier – long after Israel the Northern Kingdom and Judah the Southern Kingdom were divided by civil war and foreign conquests – long after the fall of Jerusalem and the burning of the temple and exile in Babylon – then six long centuries of colonization by Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome – long after many, many years of waiting for a Messiah-King like David of old to restore Israel to its former glory… In a humble hill country home… God’s revolution begins to be revealed… *** Having said yes to the angel Gabriel’s promise of a son to be born to her by the Holy Spirit, Mary has journeyed in haste to the home of Zechariah where his wife Elizabeth, her relative, greets her. We’re not told the details of their kinship. Maybe it’s aunt Beth and niece Mary; perhaps it’s second cousins twice removed Liz and Mary. But here’s where we begin to see the outline of God’s heavenly revolution… From below… No bombs bursting in air, no parades of conquering armies. All is quiet, as Zechariah, man of the house, is having a sabbatical of silence. Yet the house is pulsing with heavenly energies, as Mary enters and greets Elizabeth – and it’s as if live wires have been crossed – as Elizabeth’s baby leaps for joy in her womb as he hears Mary’s voice. And Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cries, “Blessed are you among women. Blessed is the fruit of your womb… Blessed is she who believed there would be fulfillment of what was spoken by the Lord!” A not-very subtle reference to her husband Zechariah – who, when the angel Gabriel appeared to him in the Jerusalem temple (two weeks ago our time) – forgot to trust God’s promises – flubbed his lines – and was struck speechless by the angel. But Elizabeth believed enough for both of them – and the one who was thought to be barren is now in her sixth month of pregnancy. Then the same angel Gabriel appeared to young Mary – engaged, not yet married – in the far North Country province of Galilee. And Mary said “Let it be with me, according to your word.” And Mary, pregnant now by the Holy Spirit, arrives for a visit with Elizabeth. St Luke offers no explanation of how young Mary made the seventy-miles-long and at least three day journey from Nazareth to the hill country near Jerusalem. But somehow Mary and Elizabeth are together now. Zechariah’s somewhere in the house, but unable to speak. We don’t see or hear any words from Mary’s fiancee Joseph, or know where he is. We don’t know if Mary’s visit comes before or after Joseph’s dream in which the angel persuades him to change his mind about breaking up with Mary. Perhaps he’s traveled with Mary, then gone back to work. But our focus isn’t on who’s not here – but on who is here – as baby John the Baptist leaps for joy in his mother’s womb, and the Holy Spirit sings through Mary. And I imagine baby Jesus in her womb singing...

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Hanging of the Greens at Bourne UMC – November 20, 2016

Hanging of the Greens will take place after our 11am worship on Sunday, November 20th at Bourne UMC. Please plan to stay and help decorate our church for the Advent and Christmas season!...

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Advent

Here are a variety of photos from our worship services during Advent.  Photos include the choir, children’s time, the Christmas Pageant, guest musicians and fellowship.

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