Showing posts from November, 2011

Preaching Advent's Absurdity

I've written an article entitled Preaching Advent's Absurdity  for  Working Preacher 's "Craft of Preaching" section for the season of Advent.  Check it out, along with their other great resources for Advent!

Longing with all the Honesty of a Prophet

Advent Candle Lighting 1: Hope In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. The Word has come to live among us. We come waiting for the light of Christ. Tonight we remember the Prophets, who spoke of things unseen, giving words to the longings of a people and their God. Tonight we light a candle for HOPE. Dear God, As we begin our Advent journey we pray for hope. Give us the courage to anticipate hope. Hope that we are not alone, Hope that this is not the end, Hope that you are always with us now and you promise always to be.  Amen. Isaiah 64:1-9 Advent is a gift to us-  the darkness and hush of these weeks before Christmas. A time of preparation and awareness, a waiting that lets us feel our longing for hope.   But the first week of Advent is always jarring. We’re all turkeyed out and geared up to plunge into the Holiday season along with apparently everyone else in

Stewards of the Story

Ephesians 1:15-23 Psalm 100 It’s a week to give thanks.   A week to pause and recognize what a gift it all is, and as complicated, messy and hard as life and relationships often are, we are so grateful for them.   It’s a week to celebrate. Three years ago this week we had asked people in the congregation what they were thankful for, and we recorded it and played it in worship.  I listened to it again this week, and I want to play it for you. ( Recording of people answering the question, “What are you grateful for?”  Answers included family, nature, freedom to elect our own leaders, hope for an upcoming surgery, health, food, relationships…) Here’s what I noticed when I heard it again.  Two of the voices are those of people no longer with us – together we’ve celebrated their lives and grieved their passing and benefit still from all the ways they kept the faith while they were among us.  Another voice is someone who stopped in with us for a short time, and moved on somewhere else.

Blessed & Limping

Genesis 32:22-31 What is the defining moment of a person’s life? The point at which you become you – when everything that has happened to you and everything that will happen converge in a single moment, and who you are becomes real?  All the other moments matter – maybe even more so in the light of this single moment, maybe they all suddenly reveal their meaning, the way they were leading up to or coming out of this moment, anticipating it before it happened, flowing from it forevermore. For Jacob, this is the moment. When his name is changed.  For Israel, born Jacob, all of life was anticipating or coming out of this moment.  And not just for him- but for all of Israel to come, for the blessing bearers and the people of God from this point onward, this is the moment that sets the trajectory. The moment Jacob wrestles with God. But how did he get here? In the dead of night, alone, fighting a stranger in the dark all night long until dawn, struggling to spare his own life?  How doe