Sermon Reflection | December 1, 2013

Read: Psalm 122Listen: A Secular Psalm Response to Psalm 12, by Maic D’Agostino, and read by Erin Ter Beest
Dig a Little Deeper:
Last week I ranted about shopping on Thanksgiving.  I said that I think it’s ridiculous, and even quite sad, that we’ve begun shopping on the one day of the year dedicated to giving thanks for what we already have.  In response, one of our worship committee members came up with a pun on Psalm 122: “I was glad when they said to me ‘Let us go up to the house of the Lord & Taylor.”  My husband, who is a poet by calling, took the pun a step further and wrote this Secular Psalm:

A Secular Psalm Response to Psalm 122, by Maic D’AgostinoI was glad when they advertised to me,   ‘Come shop in the house of the Lord & Taylor!’ Our feet are stampeding   to your gates, O Macy’s,
And Wal-Mart, too—built like cities   that are full of deals upon deals upon deals. To the department stores the shoppers go up,   the shoppers of Saving & Buying,as was decreed for First World nations,   to give thanks to the name of the SaleFor there the thrones for CEOs are set up,   the thrones of the house of Revenue
Pray for the stocks of Wall Street:   ‘May they prosper who are shopped by you. Opulence be within their walls,   and low prices within your towers.’ For the sake of my relatives and friends   I will say, ‘You won’t believe how much junk I bought.’ For the sake of the house of the Large Retailer,   I will seek your doorbusters.

Advent is my favorite season of the year, both as a preacher and as a Christian.  The image of Little Baby Jesus speaks to me like no other image of Jesus.  I’ll tell you why.  I’ve seen the vulnerability of my own babies.  I’ve seen them floppy and completely dependent.  I’ve seen them sick and unable to understand why they are in pain.  When I imagine that God chose a baby– floppy and vulnerable– to redeem the whole wide world, it completely changes the way I see God.  It completely changes the way I see myself.  It shows that God trusts and believes that we, tiny and flawed and vulnerable as we are, are capable of bringing about the Kingdom. God doesn’t need the strong and powerful to do the work; God just needs us to come as we are. 
I’ll get into that more this season.  I hope you’ll be around to share in the conversation with me. 
–Pastor Joanna