Been doing some pre-work for Advent today:
Advent 1 (November 29)
We start Advent with the Sunday of Hope. The sermon title is Promised Hope Conquers Lived Despair. Years ago the people of Israel and Judah were in exile. They wondered if God had abandoned them. Then they heard words of hope.
What is the source of our despair in Grande Prairie in 2015? Why do we need to hear words of hope and comfort? If Christ were to be born here and now what would we want done?
Advent 2 (December 6) [This Sunday will include Communion]
We light another Candle and we pray for peace. The sermon title is A Miraculous Birth, A Special Child. Nope, not that birth--it comes later. Did you know that the Christmas story has 2 babies, about 6 months apart? This week we talk about the elder -- a boy named John, son of Zechariah and Elizabeth.
What does John have to do with Peace? WEll part of that might be found in the song his father sings. Certainly John reminds us that the path to peace calls us to be changed.
Advent 3 (December 13)
This Sunday is Pageant Day!!!! The Sunday School is working away on it. And of course this year will include another original song.
I am sure we won't use puppets though...
Advent 4 (December 20)
One more week, one final candle -- the candle of Joy. This week we join Mary in proclaiming the Joy that Changes the World.I think we miss so much about Mary when we see her as meek and mild. She is a force to be reckoned with! And I think she shows a great understanding of the stakes of the events. Just read her song! Or better yet, listen to it (this is my favoured setting of it):
AS we sing songs of Joy, as we prepare to welcome the Promised Child, are we ready for the world, for US, to be changed by our encounters with the child?
And because I love this old one...