November 27, 2006

Looking FOrward to December 3, 2006 -- 1st Sunday of Advent

This Sunday we start a new season of the church year. Advent is the four Sundays before Christmas Day, it is a time of preparation for the birth of a special child. As it is the first Sunday of a new season, we will be celebrating Communion this week. We will also be having a soup & sandwich lunch and tree-trimming party following the service.

The Scripture readings for this week are:
  • From the Jewish Scriptures: Jeremiah 33:14-16
  • Psalm 25 (VU p.752)
  • From the Gospel: Luke 21:25-36
The Hymns for this week are:
  • Advent Hope (insert)
  • 9 People Look East *NEW*
  • 2 Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
  • 481 Sent Forth by God’s Blessing

The Sermon title is Stay Calm, Be Brave, Wait for the Signs!

Early Thoughts: As we begin the church year we have a very strange reading from the Gospel. Every year we start preparing for Christmas with a reading about the Second Coming. ANd it really doesn't seem to fit. After all, we are preparing to celebrate the first coming, not the second.

But what we prepare for at Christmas is the time when God breaks into our world. And this happens all the time, whether we are expecting it or not. So we are called to look around and be aware of how GOd is becoming known here and now.

In reading the writings around the End Times it sounds terrifying. As we look around for "signs" that match those writings in our modern world it is still terrifying. Wars and hatreds abound, famine and starvation are realities, injustice seems to flourish. It would all too easy to lose hope.

But we celebrate the God who breaks into our world bringing peace and hope, justice and righteousness. ANd because of that we can in fact (as the folks at the Dead Dog Cafe remind us each week) Stay Calm, Be Brave, Wait for the Signs.

Stay Calm. There is hope for the future. Panic only raises the general anxiety level. Be Brave. We have a steady and sure support in God who will not leave us alone. Fear is the opposite of the Love of God. Wait For The Signs. Look around to see what God is doing. Be ready to notice God acting in our midst.

In a few short weeks we will tell again the story of a baby born in a stable. We will sing again about God becoming known. The story is ongoing, as long as we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

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