Do I have to come up with something memorable, novel, and cutting-edge for my last Christmas sermon before I retire?
Rather than being passively obedient or overpowered, Mary was a person of agency who was willing to violate the rules.
Inviting Jesus to come and enter into our lives means embracing the unfamiliar, challenging the powerful, opening our circle of inclusion wider, sharing the gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Welcoming Jesus gives joy, peace, and hope; it also requires courage and sacrifice and, sometimes, brings heartbreak.
The gift of frankincense, first given to the babe in the manger, now becomes a gift to you and a symbol of your ministerial service as an ambassador for Christ, ministering in his name to bring people together again in reconciliation.
The magi followed the star to Bethlehem and found what they were looking for. In the same manner, we need to follow Jesus, because he knows how to get us to where we want to go. Jesus knows how to get us to a more just society. Jesus knows how to get us to the Beloved Community.
I don’t want the worry and fear of something greater than what I’ve known. I want the comfortable past. But to choose that path negates Advent. It negates the story of God, the overarching narrative of the Bible that God leads us into new spaces for our betterment.