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December 24, 2023 Luke 1:46b-55; Luke 1:26-38
“With God, Nothing Is Impossible” Advent 4
Smith Wigglesworth, an author with the coolest last name ever, wrote: “There is nothing impossible with God. All the impossibility is with us when we measure God by the limitations of our unbelief.” As the adage goes, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” Self-doubt can cripple our personal development and severely limit how successful we become in life. But when our beliefs become our measure of what God can or can’t do in our world and in our lives, the consequences are even more debilitating for us.
“Holy Dreamers” Advent 3 Cantata
“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy” (Psalm 126:1-2).
If the psalmist can proclaim these words at Israel’s rescue from exile in Babylon, how much more can we sing them at the restoration we find in Christ, as heaven and earth meet? How much more can we shout for joy that heaven and earth meet in us and through us? We are not simply freed to dream, we can scarcely help ourselves.
“When Heaven and Earth Meet” Advent 2
Isaiah pleaded with God to rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble and the nations would quake (Isaiah 64:1-2). But once God rends the heavens and comes down, then what? The psalmist offers a clue, promising peace to God’s people. God’s glory will dwell in the land:
“Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky” (Psalm 85:10-11, NRSV).
“Tear Open the Heavens” Advent 1
The world’s a mess. If only God would rend the heavens and come down! Maybe then we would pay attention. Maybe then we would acknowledge that what we are doing is wrong. Maybe. We don’t know if seeing the awesome power of God would lead us to our knees or if it would move us to amend our ways. The Judeo-Christian tradition has always flirted with the relative advantages of brute force versus love and persuasion.