Breaking Open The Scriptures
Scriptures for December 20th – Micah 5: 2-5a; Luke 1:46b-55; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45
Songs: O Come, O Come Emmanuel – UMH 211; O Little Town of Bethlehem –
UMH 230; Tell out My Soul – UMH 200
Hebrews The writer of Hebrews explains that worshippers have been doing it all wrong. They have been thinking that worship is a sacrifice, that it is supposed to hurt and be a hardship. But Jesus says that God does not want your sacrifice, God wants your heart. God does not want you to give because you have to, God wants you to give because you are blessed. The gift of the baby Jesus to the world is not a sacrifice – it is an offering of love. God’s way of showing us that we are cared for, and that help for all of our problems are on the way. This is a whole new way of thinking, how can we change our thinking to act in love and not obligation?
Luke: We hear the advent story backwards. For two weeks we heard the message of repentance from John the Baptist. Today we hear of the encounter that his mother has with the mother of Jesus. This is before both were born, while they were still in the womb. The older Elizabeth wonders why she is important to be a part of the transformational time in history. She blesses Mary for what she is about to do for the world. Mary also sings a song of celebration of how the world is about to change. What songs do we sing for being a part of this transformational moment? How do we celebrate the change?
How do we deal with change? Are we open to doing things in a new way? What is God asking us to do differently? How is Mary’s dream a lived reality today? Do you see evidence of Mary’s dream in your own life?