Counterculture - Weekly Reflections 12-16-15

 Texts for Sunday December 20, 2015
 4th Sunday of Advent

 Micah 5:2-5a
 Luke 1:46b-55
 Hebrews 10:5-10
 Luke 1:39-45

A good portion of my childhood happened in the 60’s. I grew up with images of social upheaval and a growing counterculture in the news:  war in Vietnam, civil rights, Black Power, the Cold War and fear of nuclear annihilation, peace protests, riots, women’s liberation, Mo Town, happy hippies, flower power, Summer of Love, Woodstock, Timothy Leary, Beatles, Rolling Stones, and…you get the picture. I was about 5-8 years too young and too many miles of sheltered-rural-life away to actually participate directly the “revolution”.  But there is no doubt that simply living through the times changed the course of my own identity even as it has impacted our society in so very many basic ways.

In one of those Canticles of Luke this Sunday we hear the young woman named Mary describe God’s counterculture.  In response to Elizabeth’s blessing and filled with God’s Spirit, Mary describes how God is turning the world upside down through the birth of her child. Divisions between people fall. God’s promise of mercy is for all. 

These past weeks have been wearing on the soul: terror, violence, religious/ethnic intimidation, prejudice, fanaticism, narrowness, bigotry, indifference, intolerance, hate, fear and….you get the picture. I am glad that it is Advent; Advent reminds us that no matter how it looks, there is a light in the darkness that the darkness cannot overcome. And it looks pretty dark in so many ways. Mary’s song describes that light: God comes in human flesh right into the midst of the darkness and nothing is ever the same. God’s mercy endures forever.

What do you think? Where is God’s mercy needed?
Where do you see the light breaking in? 
How would you describe the transformation it brings?
What are you called to become in light of the Light?

Check out the G.I.F.T. post for this Sunday, December 20 for more ways to reflect on these verses.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please use the comment section below.

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Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245