Monday, November 26, 2012

Looking Ahead to December 2, 2012 -- Advent 1C

This week we start a new church year as once again we begin the journey to Bethlehem and a baby in a manger.

This week we also celebrate the sacrament of Communion.

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Jeremiah 33:14-16
  • Luke 21:25-36
The Sermon title is Hope or Fear?

Early Thoughts: Which do you default to in times of change? OR are they really two sides of the same coin?

I invite those of you who are parents to think back to when you first learned that a child was coming.  Were you excited?  Plausibly.  Did you start to dream about who this child would be?  Probably at some point in those 9 months this happened.   And did the concept of caring for a child, of shouldering that awesome responsibility scare the bejeesus out of you?  Maybe not all the time, but brief (or not so brief) flashes of utter terror?  For many of us the answer is yes to all of the above.

Each year the Lectionary gives us these decidedly non-Christmassy passages for the first Sunday of Advent.  I mean really, who want to read about the end of the world 23 days before we sing carols and celebrate the birth of the Christ Child?

And yet the Christmas story/hope/promise is about the world being changed.  The Child whose birth we await will start a ball rolling that will change the lives of millions.  When we see the signs of change coming we can react with hope.  Or we can be terrified.  Or more likely we can do both, either in alternation or concurrently.

What is waiting to be born in the world this Christmas?  What change fills us both with hope and with fear?  And more importantly, remember that once we name and admit our reactions we can then take response-ability for them.  So will we feed the hope or the fear?  Which way do we wait for the birth?

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