Posts Tagged "Joy in Advent"

12/1/2019: Hope in Joy

Posted by on Dec 5, 2019 in Sunday Message | Comments Off on 12/1/2019: Hope in Joy

Season      Advent 1 Date        12012019 Scripture     Isaiah 2: 1-5         Romans 13: 11-14  Prayer    Loving One, as we begin this new season, this time of fresh                 beginnings, we ask for your blessings upon us.  Blessings that help us             to prepare to move beyond the loss and struggle of                     this past year, and look hopefully into a new year with joy.                  May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our                     hearts be pleasing to you, our Love and our Life. AMEN The Hope in Joy Today is the first Sunday of Advent and the beginning of the liturgical year.  During Advent we spend 4 weeks preparing for the coming of Christ. However, the term “the Coming of Christ” is intentionally ambiguous.  In fact, there are three “comings of Christ,” that date all the way back to the theology of St Bernard of Clairvaux in the early 12th Century.  According to St. Bernard, Christ comes first as an infant on Christmas morning.  We hear this anticipated through the prophetic words of Isaiah, announcing a time of peace on God’s holy mountain, a time when swords are beaten into plowshares, when war will cease.  The birth of a savior and a season of hope when Christ walks on earth, teaches and preaches. The second way that we speak of “the Coming of Christ” is often called “The Second Coming.”  The return of Christ is a hopeful time when we anticipate Christ’s physical return to earth. Perhaps you are familiar with the eerie poem by William Butler Yeats:  Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. (The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?) Today we heard from Paul in his letter to the Romans encouraging us to wake from our sleep, to prepare for our salvation, to, by George, regain our sense of conviction about our world.   To treat people, not according to the Golden Rule, but to treat them according to the platinum rule, that tells us to treat others as they would like to be treated. Not only that, but to be found treating others and all of creation just this way when Christ returns.  “Surely the Second Coming is at hand.” The Christmas Carol, Joy to the World, is about this second coming of Christ.  “Joy to the World, the Lord is Come!” Even more surprising, the carol is based on a psalm, a writing that predates even the first coming of Christ!   Originally, it was written by Isaac Watts, who was an English poet and outspoken clergy person.  He paraphrased the carol and...

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