Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dressing for the New Year

  • 1 Samuel 2:18-21 Samual as a boy in the temple
  • Psalm 148:1-14 Praise for God's universal glory
  • Colossians 3:12-17 Clothe yourselves with compassion
  • Luke 2:41-52 The boy Jesus in the temple

This new way of life, the Christian way, is expressed by Paul's metaphor of clothing -- put on compassion, etc. We see it growing there in the childhood of Jesus, at home in the Temple, discussing the Hebrew scriptures. Samuel took Israel through a crucial transition in its life, the transition into nationhood. And like Samuel, Jesus inaugurates a new age in the Light of the World.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Called to Welcome

Micah 5:2-5a Out of Bethlehem in Judea will come a leader. Luke 1:39-55 Mary visits Elizabeth Mary was welcomed not only by Elizabeth, but by her child in her womb who leaped in welcome at her presence. It is said that Elizabeth was filled with the spirit in that moment and offered a blessing upon Mary and her unborn child. May we all be filled with the spirit today as we prepare to welcome Mary and her unborn child. May we like Mary and Elizabeth support one another and come to understand that we are a part of something much larger then ourselves, and may our spirits be filled with hope, peace, joy, and love as we receive God's gift, God's son, Emmanuel the Prince of Peace. listen . view

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Called to Share

Isaiah 12:2-6 Proclaim God's deed to the nations. Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in God always! In this season of giving, we can sometimes walk away feeling empty, burdened, frustrated and guilty. The scriptures today remind us that we are not to worry about anything. As we prepare for the birth of Jesus we should be taking time to be thankful, to pray and to simply share what we have with one another -- in giving we receive as the saying goes. So on White Gift Sunday let us share our lives with one another. For those of us who have two coats, let us share with someone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise. Let these be the gifts that we offer each other on White Gift Sunday, and let us bring joy to one another and be filled rather then emptied, be free rather then burdened, be thankful instead of guilty in this season of Advent. As this was the Christmas Pageant, there was only a short message which was not recorded.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Advent Sabbath

  • Baruch 5:1-9 Zechariah's Prophecy
  • Luke 1:68-79 Promise of return
  • Philippians 1:3-11 Paul's prayer for the Philippians
  • Luke 3:1-6 Proclamation of John the Baptist

Advent, like Sabbath, is a contemplative time. The kind of contemplative, prayerful time that prepares us for what is to come in life. John calls the people to prepare a way for the Lord to enter their lives. Sabbath is a weekly time for preparing ourselves for the coming week of our lives. What is the most important piece of your life in the coming year, for which you want to be sure to be prepared? Maybe it is unknown -- how do we prepare for that?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Wholeness Story

  • Jeremiah 33:14-16 A Righteous Branch
  • 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 Strengthen your hearts in holiness
  • Luke 21:25-36 Urgency to watch

This waiting and watching, then the arrival, have been ritualized in the Advent and Christmas liturgical cycle. Some of us want only a part of it. One wants to skip the promise: don't trust promises. ?Another wants to skip the watching part: too busy -- just let me know when it happens.?Some would skip the moment of fulfillment: spare me the dramatics, the song and dance; just fix it so we can move on. ?And some want to lose the repetition: can we achieve this once and for all, instead of always messing it up again? But we live the whole story -- because it is what makes for the wholeness we all seek.

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