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Gospel centred sermons, based on the lectionary often in advance.

Dec 7, 2011

Apologies for the late posting, the Family and I have all been sick!

Focus Readings: Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11 and Luke 1:47–55

After Mary had got over the shock of finding herself pregnant out of wedlock she sings a song of praise. In Luke's story she shares this song with her sister Elizabeth pregnant with John the Baptist and probably at least a few people who would have been present. Even though in some ways Mary is in a very difficult situation she is full of joy because she believes the child is the promised one who will bring a time when God's will, justice and compassion will be done on earth as in heaven. Isaiah speaks a word about captives being free, and God's favour resting on the people even though the reality was bleak. Isaiah speaks into a time of exile, war, violence, corruption, despair and finally disappointment when the return from exile doesn't meet expectations. Yet his vision of hope and joy has sustained millions down through the ages. We wouldn't know any of this unless, Mary, the early church, Isaiah and the people of Israel, had shared what they had seen. We too have seen God. We have experienced God through the work of the Spirit, worship, and the witness of others. Like Mary, Isaiah and the communities around them we too should witness so that others may share in our Joy. So that others may say with Mary and with us "My Soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour".

Questions for thought or Discussion

What are the reasons we find witnessing hard? What made it possible for Mary and Isaiah to witness with such joy? What is witnessing? What joyful Christian experince could you share?