The Annunciation, Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1898
When I handed Brian Mustain the scripture readings for Sunday’s service, he glanced at the teaching title and said, “You should have called it The Cascading Consequences of Consent. Alliteration.”

“Yes!” I agreed, “The Holy Spirit got consent first.”  I imagined health teachers everywhere instructing youth that the Holy Spirit received consent from the teenage Mary, and that they too need an unequivocal “Yes” to move forward with their intentions.

The teaching invited us to imagine how each “Yes” to God impacts those around us, just as Mary’s 
yes had consequences for Joseph, and his yes changed his role as husband and father.

Originally published in 
Former People Journalthis poem by Vern Fein explores the conversation with Gabriel- where impropriety, consent, and faith interact.

May the decision to say “Yes” come alive in our minds, in our hearts, and in our actions today and throughout Advent. -Renée


Why didn’t Mary slap you
when you told her
she was conceiving a child by God?
Or scream at you or faint or curse…
when she heard archangel words?

That much faith.
Knew no body that bright could lie.
Knew of Messiah.
Someone had to birth Him,
no Suffering Woman Servant in Isaiah.

Instead obedience, acceptance,
even joy, fearless blessing, clapped her hands,
threw her arms around you, Gabriel,
danced with glee
before she pondered.

Vern Fein
Bulletin: 12/8
Order of Service: 12/8
Sermon: Cascading Consequences of Yes

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