Sunday, December 14, 2008

Third Sunday in Advent

Today's Link
Peace and Quiet

Saying for the Day
Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen. ~Author unknown,
attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby

Picture of the day
It is in liturgical churches the third Sunday in Advent. One can feel the expectation as Christmas draws nearer.
The gospel text for today is one of my favorite texts. To understand why you will have to look up John 1:6.
Today’s gospel reminds us that despite how things look to us human beings God has a plan.
To some of the people of Israel John The Baptist may have seemed to be just another religious fanatic upset with the moral conditions of the time. To others he seemed to be the promised Messiah. The One who would save Israel.
But John knew better. He knew he was not the Messiah. He was not the light. He was just one sent by God to point to the real light. God had given him a job and he was willing to do it.
Advent reminds the Christian that we also are sent by God. We also have a job, a task. We also are to point to the light that came into the world at Christmas.
Our job is not to see ourselves as better than those who don’t believe.
Our job is not to lift ourselves up in the eyes of the world.
Our job is not that of judge.
No our job is to bear witness to the Light that has begun to shine in our lives.
Like John we need to see that we are not the center. Jesus is the center.
I love Advent.
It reminds me that I don’t have to convert anybody just point to the Light.
I must because I know that in this dark world the Light still shines.
God has a plan and in some little way I am part of it.
Christmas is coming.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

News from Pigeon Falls
The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal
Pastor Joan can look out the window and see the approaching shadow. She knows that unless there is a miracle the church will be covered by next Sunday. She knows that today she will be preaching to a very reduced congregation as many people have fled the town. She is, however, not allowing those facts to change her message. She looks out at the Advent wreath and says to herself “ God has a plan”. Today she will proclaim, like John the Baptist, that the Light is breaking into a dark world. She sees the text as a fitting text as the town is threatened by a terrible darkness. She is convinced that even in that darkness this Light will shine. Today with all the force she has in her she will proclaim that message. She will point to the Light. She will be faithful.
Because some of the other Confirmands are gone Tammy and Tommy UK have agreed to acolyte at both services. One or the other will light the Advent candles, three of them, while Pastor Joan reminds people of what they mean. During the service they will pray that God would lead them as they try to find an answer to the shadow.
After the second service they will go back to Herman’s mother’s house and follow up on what she told them about a childhood puzzle. Tammy is convinced the answer is there.

Wrap Up
Fairly good day today. Our Sunday school put on their annual Christmas programk and it was great. In the afternoon I updated St. Mark's website then I took a nap. Then i visited the first tier of my links. Now I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

I shall be leaving my town today; I shall be listening to family members inbetween the tearing of gifts.

3:17 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Bobby understads!

I love your Sunday posts. Thank you.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

I love yours AND Pastor Joan's sermon today! I can't wait to hear Pastor Paul's as well!

5:46 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

great Sunday post Dr. John...knowing God has a plan is our only salvation. Thank you for that message....

7:02 AM  
Blogger Janvangogh said...

Tammy is on the right track. Soon she will take over Tommy UK's role as the town's hero -- and I didnt even drink a Haltver to know that.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Nessa said...

I love the way you talk about God.

7:30 AM  
Blogger juliana said...

love the saying for the day...

1:57 PM  
Anonymous quilly said...

We heard the same scripture in church today that you did (Common Lectionary, but our service was music from one end to the other. A few prayers, some scripture reading, a benediction, but no sermon, just beautiful, heavenly music.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Gattina said...

I love advent too, just as Christmas but as a tradition and because I have done it all my life and everybody does it. That doesn't mean that I have no faith, I just have my personal one.
For me faith and church are two very different things.

10:36 PM  

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