If any of you are aficionados of the movie Inside Out you will likely note that we have gone a little off script. While Surprise is not one of the focal emotions/characters in the Pixar film, it is part of the emotion classification system and is surely part of the narrative of Christ’s birth. Remember the first week of our series, when geriatric Zechariah found out he and his wife were expecting a child? (Surprise!) And think about the shepherds in the field at night, when the angels pop up to announce Christ’s birth. Or, Joseph learning he’s about to be step dad to God’s baby. (Surprise again!)
This week we experience Mary’s surprise when the angel Gabriel arrives to tell her she is pregnant with Jesus. The story is an opportunity for us to remember how God surprises us over and over again, in ways that bring joy and sometimes trembling. As you prepare to encounter the wonderment of the impending Christmas story, l leave you with the following quote from one of my favorite authors, Frederick Buechner’s The Hungering Dark:
“Those who believe in God can never in a way be sure of him again. Once they have seen him in a stable, they can never be sure where he will appear or to what lengths he will go or to what ludicrous depths of self-humiliation he will descend in his wild pursuit of man. If the holiness and the awful power and majesty of God were present in this least auspicious of all events, this birth of a peasant’s child, then there is no place or time so lowly and earthbound but that holiness can be present there too.”
- Key Scripture: Luke 1:26-38
- Sermon Title: Advent Inside Out: Surprise
How are you doing on filling out your DHPC Advent Challenge Tree? Maybe this is your week to add bringing socks to Journey or a food donation to the ICM Pantry.
Also, check out this video from our joyous time at the Advent Event, last Sunday.
Finally, with only 2 weeks left of 2015, have you made your pledge to DHPC for 2016? If you haven’t yet let us know how you’ll share your gifts in 2016, you may make your pledge to the Stewardship and Capital Campaign here.