Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Lectionary Discussion for Dec 7, 2008

December 7, 2008 Second Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 40:1-11 1. Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice cries out: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. You may have some people who need to hear this word of Comfort, and being spoken tenderly to that her sins have be paid. On the other hand, your people may need to also hear, prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. How are we to do this? How have we not been doing this? What valley needs to be lifted up? What mountain and hill made low? What uneven ground made level? And what rough place made plain? And how will this be done with Jesus coming? The word of our God will stand forever. We are heralds of good tidings; and we need to lift up our voice with strength to declare "Here is your God!" The prophet offers a balm for the festering wounds of exile. What wounds in your church, your area, our state, our country our world needs this balm?

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 (UMH 806) What a beautiful Psalm speaking of the favorable work of God in his Land. This is a motif of restoration, by God.

2 Peter 3:8-15a 9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. Isn’t this the good news? 10a The day of the Lord will come like a thief. 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness? Here is how you are to wait. 14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15a and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. The gift and the demand. We are people of promise, but do we act and live like we are?
Mark 1:1-8 1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. No babies, mangers, Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds or wise men. Mark has an unusual way of beginning the good news of Jesus Christ. And on top of that he begins with John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He is the one preparing the way of the Lord. 6 John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. What a strange person to prepare the way of the Lord and to begin your Gospel with. Would you follow this person and be baptized by him? 7 He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." What a powerful thing to say for John about Jesus. How many of us would be wanting to claim the spotlight? How may of us would be willing to be the one’s preparing the way for the Lord, and even admit we are not worthy to stoop and untie the thongs on his sandals? And how does the message of repentance fit today’s world and people?
So this is a beginning a new place to start, a new birth, how is it your people need a new beginning? How are your people preparing for this beginning, advent, birth of Jesus, his coming into our lives?

And so what are your thoughts for this Sunday? What are your preaching? What are the texts saying to you?


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