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Advent 4
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Gospel Conversations

Michael Godfrey —

The Latest Gospel Conversations for the Fourth Sunday in Advent Te Rātapu Tuawhā o te Haerenga Mai: Luke 1:39-55

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We're almost there! The last Sunday before Christmas, and we are with Mary as she seeks out her cousin Elizabeth, who, like her, was experiencing an unusual pregnancy. Mary's song of praise is as exhilarating and challenging 2000 years after it was sung as it must have been then. Where did these words come from? What was it like for Mary experiencing these miracles? For Elizabeth? For John, still in Elizabeth's womb? What does this whole passage tell us today? This week Michael is joined by Jerry Morris, zooming in from Wisconsin; Mosgiel-based John Franklin, and (on her first appearance) Karen Hoffman from beautiful Kurow. 

Luke 1:39-55 

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’ 

And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’ 

Note this is the correct reading - not the one named on the film! 

Each week the Diocesan Ministry Educator engages with a panel of biblical thinkers, in a free-flowing conversation about the forthcoming gospel reading. The idea of these conversations is to tease out and float ideas about and responses to the weekly passage, not as an academic exercise but as a creative dance with the text and the Spirit who enlivens the text for us.

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