Have you ever been embarrassed? I’m guessing all of us have. Usually, we can laugh at ourselves when we are embarrassed. But there is a step beyond embarrassment that isn’t funny at all: humiliation. Being humiliated is painful, and the stigma that we feel can last a long time. This Sunday, we will be talking a little about the humiliation that was experienced by the people of Judah when they lost their kingdom and their temple. The last section of the book of Zephaniah (3.14-20) was written to address their “shame,” and promises that their shame will one day be turned into “praise.” This turning of shame into praise is one of the facets of the gem of hope we know as “Advent.” Essentially, Advent means that God is still God, and therefore pain, guilt, and shame can never have the last word: pain can be turned into healing, guilt can be turned into forgiveness, and shame can be turned into praise. In what ways have we experienced shame as Christians in the twenty-first century? And, more importantly, how might that shame be turned into praise?
Hope to see you Sunday!
Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.
Mary did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when your kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.
Oh Mary did you know
The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am
Mary’s song is the church’s song. It is a song of hope. And it is a song of determination to welcome a God of mystery into our hearts, our lives, our homes, our church. May we learn to sing it. In the name of God, our creator and redeemer. Amen.