Dialectic Sermon: I Know why the Caged Bird Sings & Luke 1:39-55 (1)
Happy New Year, 2023. We give God the Glory and Honor of allowing me, you, and all of us to witness a new year. There are many unpalatable incidences and events in 2022, but God saved us from all types or forms of evil to be counted among living human beings.
Congratulations to us as we enter a new week, month, and year 2023. May God’s overflowing Anointing and Grace abide on us throughout the year. Amen.
My site is changing from daily blogging to once a week (Sundays only). But reposting my YouTube Channels videos on Tuesday and Friday would continue to complement a week thrice publishing on site.
I will discuss the above dialectic sermon topic in three series of Thesis and Anti-Thesis with a conclusion. Each series would be published on Sundays, meaning the next three Sundays starting today, January 01, 2023. I am starting this Sunday with a Dialectic Sermon. (1).
Text 1: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings By Maya Angelou:
The free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wings in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky. But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of the things unknown but longed for still, and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn, and he names the sky his own. But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams; his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped, and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.
Text 2: Luke 1:39 -55:
v39, In those days, Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, v40, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. V41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped into her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit v42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. v43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? v44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. v45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[e] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” v46 And Mary[f] said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, v47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, v48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on, all generations will call me blessed; v49, for the Mighty One, has done great things for me, and holy is his name. v50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. v51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the pride in the thoughts of their hearts. v52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted the lowly; v53 he has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty. v54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, v55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, Abraham, and his descendants forever.”
A confined or caged element mainly desire liberation from confinement. The caged bird presents Angelou’s isolation resulting from racism and oppression. Angelou uses the metaphor of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem of a bird struggling to escape its cage. The poem explains two negative experiences between two birds. One bird can live in nature as it pleases, while another feels caged and suffers in captivity. The long for the liberation of the caged bird leads it to sing to cope with the circumstances and express its longing for freedom. The free bird symbolizes people unfettered by the prejudice of any type, whether natural, socioeconomic, philosophical, or psychological.
In Luke 1: 39-59, Mary, the mother of Jesus, visits Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.
v.46-55 is regarded as the song of Mary. The song is often called the Magnificat, the first word in the Latin translation of this passage. Mary’s song is commonly used as the basis for choral music and hymns. Mary glorified God in song for what he would do for the world through her. The style and themes of Mary’s song are Semitic and pre-Christian, indicating that Luke incorporated them from a source earlier than his Gospel. Scholars debate the origins, but there is no reason to doubt that Mary, familiar with the singing of the psalms, could have composed the song as reflections on the auspicious events.
Thesis 1: God is the Liberator, pictured as a champion of the poor, the oppressed, and the despised.
God is Omnipotent. Omnipotence is the property of being all-powerful; it is one of the traditional divine attributes in Western conceptions of God. A belief in God or gods is central to the vast majority of the world’s religions. There is a continuing debate among philosophers about the reasonableness of trust in God, the problem of evil, the possibility of miracles, and the proper analysis of religious experiences.
The Liberation theologians’ drive is to seek liberation for the oppressed people using scriptures as a foundation. Gustavo Gutierrez, a Peruvian Roman Catholic Priest, first used the term Liberation theology in 1973. The Latin American Catholics’ school of thought demands that the church concentrate its efforts on liberating the people of the world from poverty and oppression.
The central methodology of liberation theology is to do theology (i.e., speak of God) from the viewpoint of the economically poor and oppressed of the human community. Liberation theology focuses on Jesus not only as Savior but also as Liberator. Emphasis is placed on those parts of the Bible where Jesus’ mission is described in terms of liberation. Feminist theology studies how women relate to the divine and the world around them as equal creations in the image of God.
Feminist theology is a movement found in several religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and New Thought, to reconsider the traditions, practices, scriptures, and theologies of those religions from a feminist perspective. The conviction in God as a liberator is due to God’s Character and Attributes. Structured as a thanksgiving psalm, the Magnificat has two parts.
The first praise God’s mercy to the speaker, and the second reflects God’s victorious deeds for the oppressed. The two pieces are linked by a profound sense of God’s unwavering compassion, by the joy that results in the lives of the liberated, and because Mary herself is a member of the oppressed people who experience redemption. Together, they reflect a way of life essential to Jewish and Christian traditions: spirituality and social justice.
**Continuation on Sunday, January 8, 2023. Join me that Sunday as we go through the Dialectic Sermon Part 2.