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February 7, 2015, 9:08 AM


NRSV LUKE 1:26-35 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. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 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 forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.


We long for these familiar words, don’t we? Perhaps we learned them as a child doing a Christmas pageant.  Ahhh … the familiarity, the traditions, the connections, the feelings…the comfort.


Comfort…immediately, my mind triggers and floats with thoughts and remembrances of Isaiah 40:1-5. I hear God speaking out from the heavens addressing the heavenly host and all of humankind. I immediately hear violins enter the scene then the rest of the strings then silence. Suddenly, God sings out (a tenor of course….lol) Comfort ye, Comfort ye my people.  Then out of the heavenly hosts, perhaps a member of the heavenly council, a voice rings out, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God!” I picture John the Baptist about 550 years later, crying out!


My mind snaps back to the text…”Every Valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill made low!”  I envision a flat plain being made so we all could walk, we all could see, we all could travel, we all could exalt and we all could rejoice!


I hear a response from everyone now with all the instruments sounding out, “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all the people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.”


I smile as I hear various responses in high, medium and low voices until I hear the violins come in and play, with a clear staccato and wonderful syncopation, an echoing going back and forth in the background, a call and response and again hear the heavenly host sing out,” For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government Shall be upon His shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9: 6)


I gently move to Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Then I hear the response in Revelation 9 and 11….all of us joining in, “Hallelujah!”  OH WHAT A MOMENT! A chorus of orchestra, low, high, medium and strong voices. The volume up and down… but always rejoicing! Ahhh … the familiarity, the traditions, the connections, the feelings…the comfort.


Remain steadfast in your faith, be joyful in your ministry, be loving to all of those around you, be at peace in all that you do and be hopeful that the king of glory shines on all that you do.


Friends the King of Kings is about to arrive. The Lord of Lords is ready for the multitude of the heavenly host to praise God shouting: Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace among those whom God favors!  The Prince of Peace will be with us! The Messiah is…there!



      What is that star that shines in the East?

            Could it be the Glory of the Lord shining down upon us?


God asks us…

To dream big, don’t be afraid, God is right there with you.

      To give boldly, don’t hold back, God gives you all you need and

            To act godly, don’t give into temptation or the distraction of evil.


Always serve and love fully with

      your resources,

            your time and

                  your talents.


I wish you a warm and spirit filled Advent and Christmas. My hope is in your traditions you join us for the Sundays in Advent, the services of Longest Night and Christmas Eve and all the other festivities we offer in shouting out our Hallelujahs and Glory to God for the gift of the Son who was born, lived taught, died and rose again so we might live in a new relationship with God and serve with a loving heart.



Pastor Ken

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