We begin our Advent series with a focus on hope!
Emily Dickinson said, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words and never stops – at all –” She captures the essence of this fluttering of the Spirit in the hearts of people of faith. It is a force – at once fragile and gentle, but unwavering and unstoppable – that ministers to our souls. It speaks to us of goodness when all about seems threatening. It speaks to us of persistence when despair gnaws at us. It speaks to us of a light, growing brighter, when shadows crowd round us. It is the song that accompanies us in the night, promising the dawn. It is fitting that we begin our Advent journey here – in the place of hope – as we long for the light that is coming.
Here is as bulletin cover image. Sermon and Reflection Slides are attached. The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.
In the most challenging of times, my hope is in the Lord and the mission we share as a community of faith!
Blessings and peace to you all,
- Pastor Brad Highum
The following links will work after Sunday Nov 27th, 2016
PRAYER OF THE DAY ----------------------------------------------
Creating God, we are unafraid and undeterred, for our hope is in you. Our trust is in your grace, and your goodness. Hope in you is a light that grows in us, leading us to the fulfillment of your promise of deliverance, redemption and peace. Amen.
First Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5
1 The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. 3 Many peoples shall come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 5 O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!
1 I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord!"
2 Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem — built as a city that is bound firmly together.
4 To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5 For there the thrones for judgment were set up, the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you.
7 Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers."
8 For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, "Peace be within you."
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.
Second Reading: Romans 13:11-14
11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; 13 let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Gospel: Matthew 24:36-44
36 "But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39 and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. 42 Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.