Sermon for December 1, 2019

Scripture: Luke 1:5-25, 57-80

How many of you are familiar with the rubber band technique?  You wear a rubber band around your wrist and when you are trying to combat anxiety you snap it against your skin. 

It’s a physical reminder to reset your thoughts.  

The angels in the Bible seem to function a bit like the rubber band technique.  They show up and immediately the first thing they say is, do not be afraid.  I can imagine in a less idealic recount, their statement might have even been  accompanied by a slap across the face as if to say snap out of it.  Be present.  Get with God’s program.  You are losing focus.

And let’s be honest.  In Zechariah’s case – who wouldn’t lose focus.  No one had heard from God for 500 years.  How could anyone imagine something different at that point?  They lived in a culture dictated by a different understanding of the world.  They managed to maintain their religious identity - but I can imagine that after 500 years they can no longer imagine other possibilities.  And even if they could generate a glimmer of something different in their imaginations – the idea of being able to make such a thing a reality must have seemed downright ludicrous.