Advent: From Generation to Generation
This year more than ever we are a weary people! We need hope and good news! That's why this year, our theme for celebrating Advent and Christmas is "A Thrill of Hope: the weary world rejoices!" This line is taken from the beloved Christmas Carol O Holy Night!
Together we are going to explore The Anticipation of Hope, the Way of Hope, the Promise of Hope and finally on Christmas Eve the arrival of Hope as we celebrate the birth of Jesus and anticipate his return! How do you need to hear this message of hope that message this Advent and Christmas season? How do you need to spread that message to people around you? Come and hear once more the beloved scriptures of Advent and Christmas! We no longer have to be afraid because God sent God's only Son, Jesus to be with us. Let us rejoice!
Sunday, November 27th There's Room for Every Story
Matthew 1:1-17; Isaiah 2:1-5
Our series begins with Matthew's genealogy. In that long list of names, we remember the trauma and triumph of those who came before; each name holds a story and their story gives way to Christ's story. When you zoom in, you may not be able to see how each character propels the story forward, but when you zoom out, you can see how each story is woven together into a larger tapestry. The Isaiah passage illustrates a convergence of opposing groups and identifies coming together. Instead of the way of the past- of war-they learn a new way by transforming their weapons into gardening tools. What are the old paths that we've followed, and where must we diverge into a new way.
Sunday December 5 God Meets Us In our Fear
Luke 1:26-38; Isaiah 11:1-10
When the angel Gabriel comes to Mary, she is perplexed and confused- and no doubt, afraid. And yet, the angel's news is "Do not be afraid." Do not be afraid. We hear this refrain all throughout the Christmas story and remember it is the most common phrase in all the bible. From generation to generation, God shows up in the midst of our fear and uncertainty and confusion. From generation to generation, faithful people have said, "yes" despite apprehension. From generation to generation, our ancestors in faith have accepted the invitation. The prophecy in Isaiah paints a vision of what we work toward when we say "yes": righteousness and equity reign, the wolf lives with the lamb, no harm or hurt shall destroy the earth and a child shall lead the way.
Sunday December 11 and THursday December 14 Christmas Cantata "Joseph's Joy"
Sunday December 18 We See God in Each oTher
Luke 1:39-45; 56-58; Luke 1:46-55.
This week we return to Mary's experience. After receiving the news from the angel Gabriel, she retreats to her cousin Elizabeth's house. When Mary arrives (perhaps unannounced), Elizabeth doesn't just welcome her- she is filled with the Holy Spirit and speaks a blessing up on Mary as her own child leaps and kicks within her womb. She sees how God is at work and names it out loud. In this moment of profound solidarity, Mary and Elizabeth see the divine in one another. From generation to generations we can see how God is at work in our relationships. The way we see the divine in each other impacts how we live and move in the world. When we view every human being as a child of God, we generate a different world.