Sunday Evening Carol Service Sermon 6.30
Holy Trinity 22/12/13
Top ten google searches 2013:
1. What is twerking? (ask your mother)
2. What is my IP?
3. What is YOLO? (you only live once)
4. What is a prime number?
5. What is illuminati?
6. What is my car worth?
7. What is spooning?
8. What is global warming?
9. What is zumba?
10. What is the meaning of life?
Meaning of life number 10
Thousands and thousands of people have seen google as the place to get an answer. So it would be a fair guess on my part that that would be a question on many people's lips as they come for a carol and a ponder at Christmas. You will not find out much about twerking or zumba here tonight.
Thing is that, perversely, the answer to the question of the meaning of life is - another question? Lord will you speak to me?
But will you dare risk asking the question? For many have said, 'Lord speak, your servant is listening,' without ever contemplating what journey the word of the Lord might take them on if they heard it. It may be why most of us don't listen properly. Or ask.
Will you be the sort of receptive we read God is looking for?
For this story of Mary and the angel is not a piece of historical biography. If it were we could step back and say 'Not for me then' with some justification. This, as all the stories of the infant Jesus, are there to set out the type of response God seeks from all his servants. She is portrayed to us as an Everywoman and an Everyman. One who listens and is ready to respond.
What kind of greeting is this?
How will this work?
I am your servant.
What sort of work is this word? (29)
How will this word work? (34)
May this word work as you say! (38)
Let it be to me as you have said. Perhaps the greatest response to the word of the Lord ever.
As we head off into this Christmas celebration week do you have the guts to start it with a willingness to listen to a quiet alternative voice that speaks in the stillness and calls you to follow the man this baby grew into. What theologian Andrew Lincoln calls '...the still astonishing and life-changing truth claim that in the fully human life of Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph and Mary, and for the sake of humanity and the world God became incarnate.'
The life of the mother of Jesus would become a life of constant yeses - acknowledging that your child is to be so special and engaged in God's business day after day until you see him die not for disobedience but for his damned obedience. Tough call. Shocking.
You do not say yes to God just the once, although it must start with one of them. And then, as the final reading, which is to come in a moment, will say, you may begin to see his glory.
Thanks for listening. And Happy Christmas.