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“Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.”
In Luke’s telling, the story begins not at the stable we know, but in the home of a young woman. One overlooked by society. Poor. Ordinary. Living under an oppressive regime.
The story begins with the angel Gabriel speaking to her. Reminding her she is seen by God. She is beloved. A favoured one.
The story begins with God saying, will you see the new thing I am doing? Will you be a part of it?
And Mary, beloved child of God, saying yes.
And the first Advent is begun. The waiting for the promised one.
To lift the lowly and feed the hungry.
As Mary sings her song of oppressors removed from their thrones, we hear her words echo in our world today. Voices calling from the margins, proclaiming God’s work in our world.
As we move towards that manger scene, following the young couple forced to register, travelling far from home – we join the shepherds in the fields. Just going about their daily lives, work that never seems to end. And in the stillness of the night once again an angel breaks in.
“Do not fear….Good news for all people…come and see what God has done…”
And with them, trembling and curious, we stumble towards the manger seeking the truth. Is it possible? Can it be true? Is God’s love that strong? And meant for us too?
This Christmas may you hear the angels speaking, “Greetings favoured one”.
May you hear the news of God breaking into our world –
and may it move you to song and dance.
May the angels interrupt your daily routine –
may you hear the promise of the Good News.
And in the stillness of this Holy Night and the promise of new life it brings,
may you reach out like Mary and Joseph with open arms
to a God who is reaching out to us.
For unto us a child is born – and the world is about to change.
Rev. Krystal Sheremeta
President, Saskatchewan Conference
The United Church of Canada.
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