Beginning again.

Old Testament Isaiah 61:10-62:3 Psalm Psalm 147:13-21 Epistle Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7 Gospel John 1:1-18 “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation.” In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. The first Sunday after Christmas Day. Jesus is tucked away in the manger. The shepherds have returned to their flocks rejoicing. Mary is holding all their word in her heart. The wise men are on their way bearing gifts. Mary has probably sent Joseph out for diapers and formula. Neither of them are getting much sleep between the 2

O Come, let us adore.

Old Testament Isaiah 62:6-12 Psalm 97 Epistle Titus 3:4-7 Gospel Luke 2:1-20 “The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.” In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. “Just wait until your father gets home.” This is the phrase heard in some households when a child has been naughty. Perhaps mom is the more strict disciplinarian. Adjust accordingly, though I’m not sure how effective this phrase is in changing bad behavior. Perhaps it gives the guilty party a little time to think about their misdeeds. Perhaps it allows the offender time to plan better, so next time we won’t ge

Prepare and participate.

Old Testament Isaiah 35:1-10 Psalm Canticle 15 - Magnificat Epistle James 5:7-10 Gospel Matthew 11:2-11 “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord” In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. Last Sunday, John the Baptist arrived on the scene, larger than life, to herald the beginning of Jesus' adult ministry. He preached repentance, he urged preparedness, and he called out the religious elite ... "You brood of vipers!" John beamed with confidence in his mission and his message. By this morning’s gospel, the religious leaders have grown tired of him and the uncomfortable truths he tells, and he is in

Prepare the Way of the Lord.

Old Testament Isaiah 11:1-10 Psalm Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 Epistle Romans 15:4-13 Gospel Matthew 3:1-12 “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. “In those days, John the Baptist appeared ...”, as if all of a sudden. God’s saving work rarely happens all of a sudden. Since creation God has been calling humanity to be reconciled with the Divine. John’s beginnings were no less abrupt. John’s birth was announced to Zechariah, who was then struck silent. He could not annou

Walk toward the Light.

Old Testament Isaiah 2:1-5 Psalm Psalm 122 Epistle Romans 13:11-14 Gospel Matthew 24:36-44 “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, ... that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. Today marks the beginning of a new Church year with the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is a liminal time, an in-between time, a time of watching, waiting, and anticipation. Advent is also an active time. If the penitential season of Lent is a time for the Spring cleaning of our souls, throwing out the rubbish that distracts us from God, and preparing roo

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