"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up." --Anne LamottCWM Meditation tonight:
"The word apocalypse simply means to reveal, to uncover, and if facing reality brings us to despair, we need to ask why."In her sermon tonight, Tiffany told a story in which a friend said to her, "I don't know what you've done, or what you think you've done, but God loves you, and so do I." And so in her closing blessing at the end of the service, she said, "It doesn't matter what you've done, or what you think you've done, God loves you."
I've been finding myself intermittently excited about Advent ever since early November (unusual since I grew up really low church and am still assimilating this whole liturgical calendar thing) and have found myself singing snippets of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" the past couple of weeks. But it didn't occur to me until I walked into CHPC and saw the paraments that, oh, the purple knit top I had picked out to wear today totally matched. (Michelle was also unintentionally in purple. I don't know if Rachel had worn purple on purpose.)
Scrollgirl commented recently, "God never asked us to celebrate Jesus' birth -- we made that one up all on our own. He simply wants us to love him and love others and obey." I agree in some ways, but I also think that the Good News includes that God incarnated Godself -- and that God chose to do so in this humble fashion; I think the stories around the birth (as well as the pre-birth stories) have useful things to teach us. Though yes I would rather that we spend the majority of our time and energy during the year focusing on Jesus' ministry (and thereby message) rather than on the two points of Birth and Death/Resurrection -- but I think those events are worth commemorating and meditating on as well. (Not that I'm trying to represent Scroll as saying we should remove those moments from the liturgical year.)
In her sermon tonight, Tiffany talked about how the reason for the Advent season isn't just Jesus but is the coming of the kin-dom of God -- our Advent theme this year is "Journeying Through the Wild Promise of Creation."
In the morning sermon, Liz L. talked about how this is the beginning of the liturgical year and how we begin with the waiting (rather than with the event).
I wasn't inspired by either of the church services today, but I do really want to observe the season of Advent this year.
I am making the same future-dated Christmas post I've done the past couple years.
CHPC Opening Prayer:
Winter is almost here, Holy God, a time when bare branches and cold weather may turn our thoughts to death & dying. Lead us this hour to your seeds of new life. Help us to see your rose blooming out of the snow. Guide us in remembering your promise of fresh saplings from old rots. Draw us toward the manger where your son, Jesus, may be born in our midst once more. It's in his name that we are gathered here, and his name in which we now pray. Amen.From the unison Prayer of Confession: "you are faithful, even when we are not."