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Advent 4b 2014
21 December
2 Sam. 7:1-11, 16; Canticle 15
Rom. 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38
Jack Hardaway

                                    IMPOSSIBLE

Like many people one of my most favorite movies is The Princess Bride, it is very funny and easy to enjoy.  I notice that it is frequently quoted.  At wedding rehearsals I frequently quote the Bishop with the speech impediment when he says, “Have you the wing?”

In that movie there is this crazy little Sicilian who whenever something unexpected happens he says over and over, “Inconceivable.”  Eventually Andre the Giant responds to the little Sicilian, “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

The angel Gabriel has a similar message in the Annunciation story we hear today from Luke.  Inconceivable and impossible do not mean what we think they mean, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

A virgin will conceive. Inconceivable!
God will be joined to our humanity.  Impossible!
The Gospel today challenges us to rethink what those words mean.

Gabriel’s announcement to Mary carries with it the message that God’s love of creation is deep, abiding and uncompromising. 
It means that humanity participates with God in the work of redemption.
Some people even call Mary the Co-redeemer.
The Ancient Christians called her Theotokos, the God bearer.

Some people disagree with the virgin birth story because they think it implies that sex is bad and that Jesus should not be contaminated by association.  They think it is prudish.
Some people disagree with the virgin birth story because it somehow contaminates God by becoming too mixed up with the stinky trash of creation.
Some people disagree because it is meant to be metaphor not literal and rational people cannot believe the impossible, miracles are a purely literary phenomenon.

I think the Good News of the Virgin Birth challenges our assumptions of what is possible and impossible, of what is acceptable and unacceptable.

It means that God’s love of creation and especially humanity is disturbingly intimate and that we are joined to God in a way that is hard to tell where one begins and the other ends.

Hail Mary full of grace, blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus.

Pregnant with God.
Like Mary we are pregnant with the Body of Christ, bearing God’s grace in the world.
Mary said yes to being the vessel of God’s presence.
What are the ways that we can say yes?
What are we calling impossible?  Where are we stuck?
Where do we deny God being all mixed up in the stuff of creation?
We limit ourselves and we limit God with our limited experience and perceptions of what is possible.  Of what is conceivable.  Of what can be born in this world.

The Annunciation.
Inconceivable does not mean what we think it means.
For nothing will be impossible with God.

 


Sermon Archives

(These are Microsoft Word documents)
 
2014
 
12-21-2014 Advent 4b 2014
12-14-2014 Advent 3b 2014
12-07-2014 Advent 1b 2014
11-30-2014 Advent 1b 2014
10-19-2014 Proper 24A 2014
10-12-2014 Proper 23A 2014
9-07-2014 Proper 18A 2014
8-31-2014 Proper 17A 2014
8-24-2014 Proper 16A 2014
8-10-2014 Proper 14A 2014
7-27-2014 Proper 12A 2014
7-20-2014 Proper 11A 2014
6-08-2014 Pentecost 2014
6-01-2014 Easter 7a 2014
5-25-2014 Easter 6a 2014
5-18-2014 Easter 5a 2014
5-11-2014 Easter 4a 2014
5-4-2014 Easter 3a 2014
4-27-2014 Easter 2a 2014
4-20-2014 Easter 2014
4-18-2014 Good Friday 2014
04-09-2014 Lent 5a 2014
03-30-2014 Lent 4a 2014
03-06-2014 Lent 2a 2014
03-09-2014 Lent 1a 2014
03-05-2014 Ash Wednesday 2014
02-23-2014 Epiphany 7a 2014
02-09-2014 Epiphany 5a 2014
01-26-2014 Epiphany 3a 2014(pdf)
01-19-2014 Epiphany 2a 2014
01-12-2014 Epiphany 1a 2014
01-05-2014 Christmas 2 2014
 
2013
12-25-2013 Christmas 2013
12-24-2013 Christmas Eve 2013
12-22-2013 Advent 4a 2013
12-01-2013 Advent 1a 2013
11-24-2013 Proper 29c 2013
11-17-2013 Proper 28c 2013
11-10-2013 Proper 27c 2013
10-27-2013 Proper 25c 2013
10-20-2013 Proper 24c 2013
10-13-2013 Proper 23c 2013
10-06-2013 Proper 22c 2013
9-29-2013 Proper 21c 2013
9-22-2013 Proper 20c 2013
9-15-2013 Proper 19c 2013
9-08-2013 Proper 18c 2013
9-01-2013 Proper 17c 2013
8-25-2013 Proper 16c 2013
8-18-2013 Proper 15c 2013
8-4-2013 Proper 13c 2013
7-28-2013 Proper 12c 2013
7-14-2013 Proper 10c 2013
7-07-2013 Independence Day 2013
6-09-2013 Proper 5c 2013
6-02-2013 Proper 4c 2013
5-26-2013 Trinity Sunday C 2013
5-19-2013 Penecost C 2013
5-12-2013 Ascension Sunday 2013
5-5-2013 Easter 6c 2013
4-17-2013 Easter 4c 2013
4-14-2013 Easter 3c 2013
3-31-2013 Easter 2013
3-29-2013 Good Friday 2013
3-28-2013 Maundy Thursday 2013
3-17-2013 Lent 5c 2013M
3-13-2013 Christ Church Lenten Sermon
3-10-2013 Lent 4c 2013
3-3-2013 Lent 3c 2013
2-24-2013 Lent 2c 2013
2-17-2013 Lent 1c 2013
2-13-2013 Ash Wednesday 2013
1-27-2013 Epiphany 3c 2013
 
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