Christmas comes earlier every year. At least the Christmas season starts earlier every year. Haven't we all preached some sermon like that? The pastor takes on the culture and invites the congregation to hold out for a more meaningful celebration of Christmas. The season that starts now is not Christmas but Advent. Thankfully, the Advent season always starts at the same time. The four Sundays of preparation have some order and method to them. The Advent theme of waiting and preparation comes through the hymns, the candles on the wreath, the words of the prophet, the gospel texts.
Thomas Willadsen Mary Austin Christopher Keating Dean Feldmeyer Ron Love George Reed Bethany Peerbolte
For January 20, 2018:
God Activates by Tom Willadsen — Perhaps God wants us to delight in each other and in the magnitude and depth of divine love. Perhaps the Lord wants to activate our gifts of the Spirit, to use them for the common good.
We are all intimately connected as one body in Jesus. Isaiah celebrates our intimate union with our creator, describing us as the joyful bride of God. Though there had been alienation and rejection from both sides in the past, the prophet describes us as God’s delight. That connection is also emphasized in Paul’s oddly graphic description of church folks as body parts — we need each other because we are not a living, breathing body if we are somehow separated.
When Jesus visited a wedding at Cana in Galilee, he showed that human disappointments matter to him and that he would be prepared to redeem them. This is a story about a young girl's bitter disappointment when she became a bridesmaid.