Grace upon Grace

First Reading Isaiah 61:10-62:3 Psalm Psalm 147:13-21 Second Reading Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7 Gospel John 1:1-18 The first Sunday after Christmas Day. Jesus is tucked away in the manger. The shepherds have returned to their flocks rejoicing. The wise men are on their way bearing gifts. I imagine this is a time when Mary and Joseph pause for a moment and bask in all that God has done, and marvel and wonder about the new addition to their family. Their thoughts must be on future possibility and promise. Before looking ahead, perhaps in moments such as this we should reflect on what just happened. The prologue from the Gospel according to John offers us

Incarnation is our Transformation

First Reading Isaiah 62:6-12 Psalm Psalm 97 Second Reading Titus 3:4-7 Gospel Luke 2:1-20 “See, your salvation comes; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.” In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. We have arrived at this most holy night, and the lectionary gives us the Gospel according to Linus. This insecure, blanket bearing boy responds to Charlie Brown’s plea, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus boldly recites a section of our reading today from the King James translation of Luke. Charles Schulz debated with the show producer and animator about including the script

Advent be continued

First Reading Micah 5:2-5a Psalm Psalm 80:1-7 Second Reading Hebrews 10:5-10 Gospel Luke 1:39-45(46-55) "Restore us, O God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved." In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. For the past few weeks, we have been practicing great patience to remain in Advent. We have all been encouraged to lean into the waiting, anticipating, and longing for the coming of Christ. It is a challenge to live in this liminal time, the already but not yet, while the world around us has already fast forwarded to Christmas morning. At best, the focus is on the manger. In reality, th

Stir it Up

First Reading Zephaniah 3:14-20 Psalm Canticle 9 Second Reading Philippians 4:4-7 Gospel Luke 3:7-18 “Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation.” In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. “Stir up thy power, O Lord.” That is how our opening Collect begins today. “Stir up thy power, O Lord, and with great might come among us.” And in just over a week, we will celebrate Christmas, the Incarnation, God intimately invested in humanity through the birth of Jesus Christ. But before Jesus’ birth, ordinarily human and extraordinarily divine, we anticipate that God will stir it up. If you hav

Prepare & Participate

First Reading Malachi 3:1-4 Psalm Canticle 16 Second Reading Philippians 1:3-11 Gospel Luke 3:1-6 “See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple.” - Malachi 3:1 In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. God seems to call a special kind of people to be prophets. Prophets share God’s words, revelations, and instructions. Prophets often tell uncomfortable truths. Prophets always seem to nudge and urge us in uncomfortable directions. Often, prophets reluctantly answer the call, and for their trouble are persecuted and suffer. Malachi has the unenv

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