Prior to the revision of the church year and lectionary, the Fourth Sunday of Advent really was "Christmas" Sunday in many Protestant churches. Lections were changed, Christmas hymns and carols were sung, and sermons were oriented toward the celebration of Christmas rather than toward Advent. It was almost as if there were two celebrations of Christmas; people could take their choice of attending one or the other - or both - of the Christmas services. Such practices were a natural outgrowth of interpreting Advent as a time to prepare for "the birth of Christ in our hearts" at Christmas.
Bill Thomas Frank Ramirez Ron Love Mark Ellingsen Bonnie Bates Bob Ove
Jeremiah 17:5-10 On Sunday, August 5, 2012, Garrett Reid killed himself in the dorm room at Lehigh University where the Philadelphia Eagles were holding training camp. Garrett is the oldest son of the Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid. Garrett had a history of drug problems and even spent some time in prison on drug related charges. Andy Reid told the team’s owner that in this difficult situation he would continue to move forward, saying “I’m going to hit that curveball and hit it out of the park.” Ron L.
There is a powerful scene in Robert Bolt’s play A Man for All Seasons. The story is that of Sir Thomas More, loyal subject of the English crown. King Henry VIII wants to change things to suit his own devious plans, so he requires all his nobles to swear an oath of allegiance which violates the conscience of Sir Thomas More before his God. Since he will not swear the oath, More is put in jail. His daughter Margaret comes to visit him. “Meg,” he calls her, with affection. She’s his pride and joy, the one who thinks his thoughts after him.
We tend to think of Saints as special holy people who are perhaps not quite real. But in this reading, Jesus makes it clear that those who are very ordinary because they are poor, or hungry, or sad, or otherwise disadvantaged in some way, are especially blessed. This is a story about Casper, who spoke in fun but found his words were taken rather seriously.
"Louise, can you and Pastor Hal come to Thanksgiving dinner at our house this Friday? I have this really, really big turkey, and I don't want a ton of leftovers," Tracy implored her friend.
"Well, I'd love to, but we always invite a widower, Andy Vespa, each Thanksgiving. I don't want him to be by himself with his pork and beans. Of course, Steve and Vicki will be here, too," Louise replied. "Andy's always been a part of this family gathering."