“The God who Sees” Let's pray...

Rev Stuart Buisch

Genesis 16:7-13; Psalm 71:4-11; Philippians 2: 5-11; Luke 1:26-38

Who wants a God who sees? Selective seeing - my good deeds, my just acts, my generosity but
everything, no way. May I say for heaven's sake, literally. IF God sees everything, every time,
every person, talk about data overload. If God only saw everything, every time with us, that
would be too much.

Just looking at Hagar's situation seems to be enough to make this point. Her owner/ mistress beat
her, could we suspect that Sarai's plan giving Hagar to Abram back fired? Did she hope to
expose Abraham's infertility instead of her own and then have something over him? But no
Hagar was pregnant from an old man. God saw Sarai beat Hagar, God saw Hagar flee, God
found her in the desert. God heard her cry. And God sent her back – to abuse.

We could fall down a deep philosophical well and ask why God could endorse the brutality of
Sarai. But we probably won't come up with any good answers. We can notice that someone of
no economic value and presumably no value to her Egyptian community was valuable to God to
raise a son that would always know that God heard. We never hear the conversation between
God and Sarai about abuse. We never know how Sarai felt when she found out from the all
seeing God that she would have a child. In fact we don't know the weight of barrenness that
Sarai felt with such a famous and well known husband with no children.

The Psalmist picks up some of these problems but not quite. 'rescue me fro

m the hand of the wicked." What about abuse from the righteous? Is that any different from the hand of the wicked.
You see, God sees that the righteous and the wicked can be cruel and ruthless. One set
seemingly forgiven having admitted their wrong, another group certain that cruelty and
ruthlessness is how you get ahead.

Then we have Philippians celebrating not the strong or the brave, certainly not the cruel and
ruthless rather the one who choose to take on slavery, not against it but to incarnate slavery, to be
a slave. To live in the flesh as a slave. It is one thing to believe that God honors all the life that
the Divine sees. IT is altogether another thing to think of Christ picking up the cloak of
humanness and putting it on over glory.

So I wonder did God watch as Gabriel went to Mary. Indeed God sees all but did God stop -
whatever that means, to pay attention to Mary's response? Did you notice Gabriel doesn't say, I
have a suggestion, an offer, a deal if you will. Gabriel proclaims the news that is unfolding in
Mary's life. Gabriel tells her what is going to happen not a choice of happenings. A plan that the
angel couldn't feel, Luke understood as a doctor of his day, but did not feel inside. Gabriel
announces what will take place and she wouldn't be waiting long to see it unfold.
Mary agrees, consents to the plan, troubled but not refusing. Mary offers to be the woman slave
to God. No wonder Jesus doesn't have any trouble wearing 'slave', his mom did. Hagar did in an
awful scenario.

But Mary takes it further. Let is be according to your word. It sounds like she is letting go of
control. Mary, like Hagar is chosen for a very difficult task- bearing a child. Without being able
to confer with Joseph, she says yes, probably knowing the some of the risks involved. While she
wasn’t threatened by a mistress, or a spouse we can only wonder how her community/ family
responded to this news.

As the story continues to unfold did Mary and Joseph tell their family and friends why they were
headed to Egypt? How angry were those same neighbors when impulsive Herod killed their sons
and Jesus was safe far away.

Are we able to imagine a bigger plan than we can think out? More than we could expect? Can we
trust God in these days of uncertainty like Hagar, Mary, Joseph and Abram?
That is the call of this Advent season. Will we believe that we are not the center of the universe
and that God is much bigger than our brains, souls and wills. We will step into the uncertainty of
these days taking the directions we receive from God no matter how limited and frightening they
may be? In the name of the Almighty, the all Loving, and the All Present, amen.

Most Holy, help us to have courage to step out in faith...
Blessed Savior, help us to hope in your leadership...
Holy One, Breath of Life, fill our lungs with your grace and peace...