Monday, December 15, 2008

Luke 1:26-38

Advent 4 – Year B

Luke 1:26-38

So did the angelic messenger get it wrong? What's with the pronouncement regarding a coming Jesus getting a throne abolished generations before? What's with the language of "reign" or "rule"? And a never-ending "kingdom"?

I suppose we could say that nothing is impossible with God, but does that cut it in terms of the way Jesus will deny a kingdom in this world, dismiss blood family ties, and focus on prophetic acts of mercy, healing, and teaching?

It will take some fancy spinning to have the angelic message end up anywhere near the experience we have of Jesus. While there are many who would set up institutions to rule in Jesus' name, that seems to end up being heretical to the life lived by Jesus.

Here, as we near the focus of Advent – Christmas, it would be well to pay attention to what is and isn't being said. It is all too easy to toss institutional metaphors around as though they were literal.

If we buy into this initial proposition put to Mary we will be able see how her heart will be pierced later – it's hard to put an expectation down. May you watch your story-telling for saying too much. It is easy to use acceptable images, but they have a way of coming around to bite. Think again, speak slowly, don't over-promise. Learn from an angel's over-stated sales pitch and stick to what you know – "Mary, here's a surprise big enough to take your breath away, but G*D will be with you to continue breathing new spirit into you. Relax and enjoy the ride of your life."

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