The following sermon was preached at Silver Creek Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 23rd. The service as a whole was a journey through our tension between lament and praise. I was inspired to craft the service in this manner because of the (healthy) tension which exists between two of the lectionary passages for that day: the lament of Psalm 80 and the praise of Mary's Magnificat. It should be noted that a common misconception of lament and joy is that they are two separate and "neat" stages (i.e. to move from lament to joy to never return or vice versa). However, it is healthy, both as an individual and as a community, to have fluidity between the two. I like to think of lament and praise as a conversation, with each expanding our vocabulary of the other. This sermon is the first step in a journey I am embarking upon to further explore this healthy tension which finds its roots throughout the entire biblical narrative.
|"The Visitation" by Qi He.|
We join with Mary and make her song our own because we have journeyed through Psalm 80, we have cried out to a God who hears our every cry. And although it might not be done in a way that we might have wanted or predicted, God has responded and is responding and will continue to respond forever more. God will send to us Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus our Savior and friend who will journey with us through our every joy and our every sorrow. And, friends, I announce to you this day that this Christ-child will be no less that our God who is with us all, amongst us all, and, most importantly, for us all! Restore us, O God! Amen!