Sunday Thoughts – 11/28 – First Sunday of Advent

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It has been a very, very long week for me. I got back from Atlanta on Tuesday, only to spend a few hours working on our first contract proposal which I had to rush, with 15 minutes to spare, to FedEx. Wednesday, of course, was recovering from SBL and well, you get the picture for the rest of the week and weekend.

This morning’s service was an especially welcoming one. I don’t know why – maybe because I missed last Sunday. Maybe it was the sermon (which I suspect had a lot to do with it). The sanctuary was packed, and there was, to use a completely non-academic term, or Baptist term, but a wonderful, wonderful spirit there this morning. It was rather cozy. I hope to post on the sermon and the challenge of the sermon later this week.

Of course, this is the first Sunday of Advent, and the topic of today was Hope. One of the readings today is from Isaiah,

This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

In the last days, the mountain of the LORD’s house will be the highest of all– the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. People from many nations will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.”

For the LORD’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. The LORD will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.

Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD! (Isa 2:1-5 NLT)

The Church is a Community – not an individual relationship with God. As we join the throngs of Saints here and not here in the celebration of the Advent of the Christ-child, I would encourage you to lay aside some of those differences which keep us away from the Other, the Stranger. Remember the Incarnation and what we have come to understand it as, and live incarnationally. If you must, dare I say, condescend to those who are lower than you in some way. That’s polite – if I was to be frank, I would say to get off your high horse and become what others need to see from God, but I want to be polite.

I have a busy two days, with papers to write and two meetings, but over all, this month isn’t too terribly busy. As a matter of fact, I plan on taking some time off to recoup and to read a lot before the start of the next year. I cannot believe that it has already been a year since last Christmas… whew…

But, this year has seen a lot of changes for me. A lot. I mean, leaving a faith tradition which I had for 32 years, into another one. And other stuff. Of course, like all bloggers, I am sure that I will get around to reflecting on some of the changes which I have seen this year.

I have a few posts planned for this week. But. Not. Much.

I hope that each of you have a great and wonderful week.

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