(Click above for the complete reading)
“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap.”
(Click the title above for the sermon)
We have entered the hopeful season of Advent but with so much fear and uncertainty swirling around, the promise of love overcoming hate can begin to sound like the worst kind of wishful thinking.
Pay attention, this day reminds us. Stay alert as we move toward the promise of Christmas. Though we tend to sanitize and tame it a bit, the very story of our Christmas faith begins with the whole cosmos in an uproar with ruthless rulers prepared to terrorize families, to kill first born babies, in order to protect their own power.
God is about to tell us where to look. At the mighty and terrifying angles? The tyrant king prepared terrorize the land? The exotic star-gazers from the east? The armed and ruthless Roman guards?
No, the story of our faith says, look over there, to a frightened, young, forced refugee family, made to travel against their will at the worst possible time, searching for a safe place in the midst of a world that looks to be ruled by violence.
And still we worship, and baptize and give and grieve and serve and reach out and sing. Oh, do we sing. In the midst of our fears and uncertainties and even our doubts, we sing the words we long to believe. God help us to believe what we sing during this Advent and Christmas season.
Question to Ponder or Discuss
1. What is your favorite song or hymn? Take a moment to prayerfully read the lyrics. Do you live as though you truly believe everything you sing in this hymn?
2. What do you love about the Advent season? What do you find difficult in this season?
3. What gives you hope?
As you listen to Christmas music during this busy time of year, pay close attention to the words being sung. Even most secular Christmas music is filled with messages of love, hope and peace. Let the music of this season be an ongoing prayer for yourself and for all those you see as you are out and about.
You may be the only one praying at Fleet Farm!