Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Another Advent Sermon

This one courtesy of moi. Here is the final sermon for my Creative Preaching class. Possibly the final sermon I'll ever preach, considering that I see no preaching opportunities on my horizon and ordination certainly seems to be quite off the table. Ah, well. It was fun while it lasted. Though I still might go for a preaching prize, just to show 'em.

It's one of my scripture remix/mashup sermons, so I will include the references for fun (and since it was for class I actually went to the trouble of listing them). Obviously I performed it with another classmate, and the class was appreciative and really enjoyed it. It's nice when this weirdo art form I've created actually gets some love (I mean, I probably didn't create it, but I'm still the only person I know who does it like this).

The Annunciation & Magnificat
For Creative Preaching, Fall 2007

Gabriel: In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.

Mary: The virgin’s name was Mary.

G: And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.’

M: But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.[1]

G: Greetings, favored one!

M: Greetings, favored one?
The Lord had regard for Abel…[2]
Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord…[3]
The Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love…[4]
God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them…[5]
The Lord said to Moses, “I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight…”[6]
The boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and with the people…[7]
Whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord…[8]

G: Greetings, favored one!
M: What sort of greeting might this be?

G: Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.[9]

M: Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.[10]
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.[11]
Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades.[12]

G: Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God. I have called you by name, you are mine.
(announce) And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,[13]

M: A son!

G: God promises … Ishmael, Isaac, Samson, Josiah … God promises a son. And you will name him…

M: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…[14]

G: The name that is above every name,[15]

M: Faithful and True, The Word of God, King of kings and Lord of lords…[16]

G: Jesus.

M: Jesus.

G: At that name, every knee should bow, and every tongue confess…[17]

M: Jesus.

G: He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.[18]

M: And the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall this kingdom be left to another people. It shall crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever.[19]

G: For the palace will be forsaken, the populous city deserted; the hill and the watchtower will become dens forever, the joy of wild asses, a pasture for flocks...The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.[20]

M: For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders…[21]

G: His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.[22]

M: The zeal of the Lord of hosts…

G: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.


M: (blurts out) But how can this be, since I am a virgin?[23]

(look at each other for an embarrassed moment)

G: (kindly) The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…

M: The Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you…[24]

G: …therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God…[25]

M: (quietly) For nothing will be impossible with God.

G: For nothing will be impossible with God.

M: Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.[26]

G: In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.[27]

M: To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God – who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of a man, but of God.[28]

G: (gestures to Mary) Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.[29] A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord….with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.[30]

M: Here am I, the servant of the Lord…

G: For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you,and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.[31]

M: Let it be with me according to your word.


M: The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion— to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory![32]

G: He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.[33]

M: The spirit of the Lord God is upon me…he has sent me to proclaim…
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior,
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed;[34]

G: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb![35] Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you![36]

M: You, the Mighty One, have done great things for me,
and holy is your name.
You have mercy on those who fear you
from generation to generation.[37]

G: Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, I will make you majestic forever, a joy from age to age. You shall suck the milk of nations, you shall suck the breasts of kings; and you shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.[38]

M: You have shown strength with your arm;
and scattered the proud in their conceit.[39]

G: God prolongs the life of the mighty by his power...They are exalted a little while, and then are gone; they wither and fade like the mallow; they are cut off like the heads of grain. The Lord of hosts has planned it— to defile the pride of all glory, to shame all the honored of the earth.[40]

M: Casting down the mighty from their thrones,
and lifting up the lowly;[41]

G: The descendants of those who oppressed you shall come bending low to you, and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet; they shall call you the City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.[42] Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of Yahweh our God. They will collapse and fall, but we shall rise and stand upright.[43]

M: You have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.[44]

G: Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice…to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?...If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.[45]
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.[46]

M: You have come to the help of your servant Israel,
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears,
to Abraham and his children for ever.[47]

G: I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.[48] I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves…[49]

M: Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.[50]

G: (to Mary, they look at one another) Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you…(to audience) the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. [51] Then your light shall break forth like the dawn...[52]

M: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness, on them light has shined…[53]

G: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.[54]

M: The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. [55]

G: And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.[56]


G: (gestures to Mary) Look, the young woman is with child, and shall bear a son, and shall name him the name that is above every name…

M: Jesus.

G: Jesus.

M: And his mother treasured all these things in her heart.[57]

Scripture References
[1] Luke 1:26-29
[2] Gen 4:4
[3] Gen 6:8
[4] Gen 39:21
[5] Ex 2:25
[6] Ex 33:17
[7] 1 Sam 2:26
[8] Prov 8:35
[9] Luke 1:30
[10] Is 41:10
[11] Is 43:1
[12] Rev 1:17b-18
[13] Luke 1:31
[14] Is 9:6
[15] Phil 2:9
[16] Rev 19:11, 13, 16
[17] Phil 2:10-11
[18] Luke 1:32-33
[19] Dan 2:44
[20] Is 32:14, 17-18
[21] Is 9:6
[22] Is 9:7
[23] Luke 1:34
[24] Is 60:2
[25] Luke 1:35
[26] Luke 1:37-38
[27] John 1:1:1-3, 14
[28] John 1:12-13
[29] Is 7:14
[30] Is 11:1-2, 4a
[31] Is 62:5
[32] Is 61:1-3
[33] Luke 4:18-19
[34] Luke 1:46b-48
[35] Luke 1:42
[36] Luke 11:27
[37] Luke 1:49-50
[38] Is 60:15-16
[39] Luke 1:51
[40] Job 24:22a, 24
[41] Luke 1:52
[42] Is 60:14
[43] Ps 20:7-8
[44] Luke 1:53
[45] Is 58:6-7, 9b-11
[46] Is 58:9a
[47] Luke 1:54-55
[48] Gen 17:6-7
[49] Gen 22:17-18
[50] Is 60:3
[51] Is 60:1-2
[52] Is 58:8a
[53] Is 9:1-2
[54] John 1:5, 9
[55] Is 60:19
[56] Revelation 21:23
[57] Luke 2:51b

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