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AAA’s of Loving Advent Sermon Dec. 20, 2015

Sermon    December 20, 2015 Messengers of Love   By Rev. June Fothergill   scripture: Luke 1: 39-55   I heard the jingle for AAA memberships on the radio the other day. Their tag line is Give a member ship to AAA- give peace of mind, give life.   When Mary went to see Elizabeth she risked such a long journey alone because she was looking for the support that would save her life.  After hearing such a strange, wonderful and dangerous word from the angel that she would have God’s baby, she needed the love that that the angel’s word had pointed her toward- “and your kinswoman, Elizabeth who was barren is also with child.”   Mary and Elizabeth’s experience together show us AAA’s of what it means to love one another.  NO it’s not about cars and roadside assistance.  It’s about affection, affirmation and advocacy. 1. Affection When Mary arrived at her door, and surely she couldn’t have phoned ahead in those days, they greet each other and it is clear that Elizabeth will provide hospitality to Mary. In fact she stays with them for 6 months Luke tells us.     We imagine that they greeted each other with the usual affection of two kinswomen. But for Elizabeth there is more. The Spirit of God moved in her to see Mary not just as a kinswoman but as blessed. Showing affection for someone is one of the ways we show them our love or positive regard. Different cultures show affection in different ways, but many include some form of safe touch that says- I care about you.  Showing affection is harder for some people than others but it is a choice we can all make in our interactions with others.  I remember my Daddy was not a very demonstrative person.  He would say nice things to us but he rarely would hug when we were little. But he had three daughters and as we grew up we went to camp and youth group and got other ideas about giving affection. We discovered hugs or as we called them then “warm fuzzies.”   So my father was bit by bit converted by his daughters to become a hugger- a giver of warm fuzzies.   As you may imagine we delighted in this transformation. Affection in the case of Mary and Elizabeth also had a deeper, more risky aspect, being willing to provide hospitality.  It was a norm of that society that giving hospitality to others was a high value.  Yet, it had its risks.  Mary was unexpectedly and mysteriously pregnant- could that possible shame reflect on her hosts?   We know that in other Biblical stories like that of Rahab the brave...

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Advent Sermons 2015

Sermon    December 20, 2015 Messengers of Love   By Rev. June Fothergill   scripture: Luke 1: 39-55 I heard the jingle for AAA memberships on the radio the other day. Their tag line is Give a member ship to AAA- give peace of mind, give life.   When Mary went to see Elizabeth she risked such a long journey alone because she was looking for the support that would save her life.  After hearing such a strange, wonderful and dangerous word from the angel that she would have God’s baby, she needed the love that that the angel’s word had pointed her toward- “and your kinswoman, Elizabeth who was barren is also with child.”   Mary and Elizabeth’s experience together show us AAA’s of what it means to love one another.  NO it’s not about cars and roadside assistance.  It’s about affection, affirmation and advocacy. 1. Affection When Mary arrived at her door, and surely she couldn’t have phoned ahead in those days, they greet each other and it is clear that Elizabeth will provide hospitality to Mary. In fact she stays with them for 6 months Luke tells us.     We imagine that they greeted each other with the usual affection of two kinswomen. But for Elizabeth there is more. The Spirit of God moved in her to see Mary not just as a kinswoman but as blessed. Showing affection for someone is one of the ways we show them our love or positive regard. Different cultures show affection in different ways, but many include some form of safe touch that says- I care about you.  Showing affection is harder for some people than others but it is a choice we can all make in our interactions with others.  I remember my Daddy was not a very demonstrative person.  He would say nice things to us but he rarely would hug when we were little. But he had three daughters and as we grew up we went to camp and youth group and got other ideas about giving affection. We discovered hugs or as we called them then “warm fuzzies.”   So my father was bit by bit converted by his daughters to become a hugger- a giver of warm fuzzies.   As you may imagine we delighted in this transformation. Affection in the case of Mary and Elizabeth also had a deeper, more risky aspect, being willing to provide hospitality.  It was a norm of that society that giving hospitality to others was a high value.  Yet, it had its risks.  Mary was unexpectedly and mysteriously pregnant- could that possible shame reflect on her hosts?   We know that in other Biblical stories like that of Rahab the brave woman...

Read More
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