Sing of mercy and justice

“Justice, biblically speaking, is about God taking everything that’s wrong with the world and making it right. In God’s kingdom, things are turned upside down. The least are now the greatest. The last are now the first. Justice is God taking what’s broken and bringing it to wholeness. In Advent, a season of longing and expectation, we wait for God to make things right. And this is a key theme of Mary’s song: Lord, make it right.” — Rich Villados (from Advent: Living Hope, a resource from Christianity Today)

Third Sunday of Advent

O Lord Jesus Christ, you sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries may likewise make ready your way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient toward the wisdom of the just, that at your second coming to judge the world, we may be found a people acceptable in your sight; for with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP 2019)

Third Sunday of Advent – Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph

“Come Up Here”

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. (Rev. 4:1-2)

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The One who is WITH us

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. (Isa. 53:3)

We want a warrior Messiah. We want the Jesus mean and wild. We want the celebrity Jesus all too often. So, when Jesus comes and identifies with the marginalized of our world and we find him in places like refugee camps, we don’t recognize him.

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Advent and the Apocalypse

In Luke’s gospel, when Jesus speaks apocalyptically of “signs in the sun and moon and stars” and the “distress of nations,” he ends by saying that humanity “will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:25–27). He is speaking of himself and his Second Coming. He’s telling us that our great hope comes not through any human development but through himself. He possesses sovereign power that is independent of human history. In spite of all appearances to the contrary, in spite of the apparent darkness, God in Christ is shaping our history in accordance with his divine purposes.

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Happy New Year!

Over the years I have learned more and more about Advent and the Church calendar. I have known it was the beginning of the Church Year because the Church calendar doesn’t follow the regular calendar of the world or culture. In the U.S. we put so much stock in a “new year” and January 1.

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In the wilderness

When the pandemic hit earlier this year, it was during Lent. A popular saying I heard among liturgical friends was this:

“This is the Lentiest Lent I’ve ever Lented.”

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As Advent approaches we are tempted to flood ourselves in light

By all measures it is probable we can all agree we want 2020 behind us… NOW. Why wait until December 31?

We’ve lost loved ones. The world has lost heroes. We’re fighting over masks to slow down a pandemic…

People are putting up Christmas lights and trees and flooding their lives with Christmas music and the Hallmark Christmas Channel.

We want this OVER!

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