The Gospel in one word: Love
I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
I love the Wizard of Oz. Anyone who truly knows me knows this is the case. I have read many of the original books. (By many I mean 5-8 of the 14-20 books.) I have seen the Chicago version of Wicked. I own the Wicked CD as well as the MGM CD. I have read the book Wicked. I have read and own the comprehensive commentary on the original Wizard of Oz. I watched Disney's Return to Oz, The Wiz, Syfy's Tin Man, two of the silent movies, and of course the original MGM Wonderful Wizard of Oz. If I thought into more I am sure I could add more to the list!
I even speculated story lines in hopes to delve into fan fiction someday. One possible fan fiction nugget revolves around the Wicked Witch of the West. In one of the books, mentioned merely as a side story to the greater story arc, one of the main characters tells about a sorceress who enters into Oz and falls in love with a resident of the land. Apart from this story, almost everyone who has at least watched the MGM movie knows, the Wicked Witch of the West meets her demise through liquidation. I have always wanted to bring these two tales together. As I would tell it, perhaps the sorceress and her love wanted the perfect child. They decided the best attribute to any young girl was sweetness. Instead of using the traditional methods of child creation they decide to physically make their daughter. Because sweetness was the most important part of this child they make her entirely out of sugar. Immediately they begin to see the problem with their sugar baby. She could not be washed for fear she would wash away. She also began to spoil. The Sorceress, not knowing what to do, doesn't try to help the child, but banishes her. Away from her parents she continues to spoil to the point of being pure evil.
As a culture we think about love and sometimes get lost in the ooey gooey sentiments of Valentines Day
and Hallmark cards. We think love always needs to feel good. It spills over into our everyday world. We live in a culture where everything apparently has an easy fix: "Look good in three easy steps!" "Melt away pounds with one easy pill." "Find the perfect person with this one perfect website." It gives the impression that what we love is made of pure sugar. Inevitably it spoils and confuses us when we discover there is no easy answer to love. Love is more complex and deep than simple sugar.
When Mary realizes what God has done to her and to her cousin Elizabeth love spills from her mouth. Her words are gloriously complex. She says she is raised but low. She says she will be honored but is a servant. This, in the context of a girl who could be stoned for being in the situation she is in. There is nothing easy in her words even if it sounds like she is saying it in an easy way.
If we are ready for it, Advent can be time to prepare for the unexpected. How does one prepare for something they know nothing about? Focus on hope, peace, joy and ultimately love. Consider these four attributes to be like the survivors kit for a ever-growing clinical world. Having hope, peace, joy and love can help us when the weak become strong, when the poor shall become rich and the lost shall be found. It will keep us from taking the easy way out, which is usually the incorrect route too. Finally, it help us be fruitful, and Mary's song can echo on all of our lips:
I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened--
I’m the most fortunate person on earth!