November 30, 2008 Advent 1
Advent 1 begins with Graphic images from Mark and Isaiah. Maybe it does that as a way of saying for us as believers, its all different how this Christmas thing is done. These scriptures really speak to us a word of hope in a time of economic crisis, climate change, continued terror, and uncertainty. At the same time, your church members have already done some shopping and heard the Christmas carols via Muzak and wonder why in the world are we focusing on these passages?
Here are some of the graphic images from Mark, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' From the fig tree learn its lesson. We are tolo watch and keep awake three times. And there is a promise in this. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Everything we unwrap at Christmas will not last. All that pretty wrapping paper piled in heap for the trash man to pick up, no matter how hard we worked at wrapping that present. But Jesus words will never pass away.
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Paul talks to the church in Corinth that in every way they have been enriched in him so that they are not lacking in any spiritual gift as they wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will also strengthen them to the end, so that they may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful; by him they were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. According to Paul we lack nothing, and yet if we listen to the ads we lack everything and if we just had this one more item, bigger house, certain car we would have it all (but actually still want more.) Watch the ads this time of year, how does it lead us to believe that we don’t have enough, and then that effect our relationship with God, our families, one another?
Here are some of the graphic images from Isaiah: O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence--
2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil. the prophet invokes the ancient image of the Lord as the cosmic, divine warrior who, according to Israel's collecti
ve memory, has victoriously 'come down' to Israel's aid. With a tone of desperation, the prophet implores the Lord to act likewise in the prophet's here and now. “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people." (64:8-9) People on wall street, those working for the banks and mortgage companies may be praying that the heavens would tear open and they would be rescued somehow or another from the awful financial shape they are in. What would happen if during this Advent season if our prayer was; You are the potter, we are clay, we are all work of your hand, mold me and make me….”? How would Christians then impact the world if that came true? What would our churches look like? Our families? Ourselves? How would we celebrate the season?
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
A Psalm asking for God to come to save us! 3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
As your read these passages, what do you hear God saying? What do they say about advent? What do they say to your congregation? Yourself? How will you preach them?
Let us hear from you.
Labels: Advent, Lectionary Discussion