November 29, 2009

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie Jeremiah 33:14-16 Psalm 25:1-10 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 Luke 21:25-36 Today we begin a new year in the calendar of the church. And as we mark the first Sunday in the season of Advent, we jump from last week’s celebration of Christ as our King and Sovereign, back into the experience of waiting for Christ to come into our world. A week ago, we declared Christ as our Lord, and acknowledged his presence, power, and authority over all things. Our Christ candle shone brightly in our worship, and we were challenged to go out and shine that light into the world. But today, we lit only the Candle of Hope. The Christ Candle is not shining today. And not because Christ is not present with us… I certainly believe that he is. As much as Christ was King last Sunday, Jesus is our Lord today. But in Advent we take time to acknowledge the fact that although Christ has come, Christ’s presence and power is not yet felt throughout the whole earth. Although the light of Christ shines, there are still many dark places in our world and within our lives. As you may remember, Advent means “coming”. Christ came among us 2000 years ago in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. And in Advent we both wait to celebrate that coming, and we anticipate Christ’s coming again — the future time when Christ’s presence will pervade all things, when everyone will live in peace … Read more »

November 14, 2010

Isaiah 65:17-25 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 Luke 21:5-19 Today’s passage from Isaiah 65 is about God’s vision for a renewed world. It is a description of a new world that God is going to make in which there will be peace and justice for everyone. People will live long and happy lives, working hard, and reaping the rewards of their work, living in houses, planting crops, and enjoying the blessing of a good relationship with God. For the people of Judah and Jerusalem, sometime after 539 BCE, this vision would have filled them with hope and confidence for the future, as they made their way back to their homeland after the long exile in Babylon. In exile, they had felt alone and abandoned by God. And now, even as they returned to Judah and Jerusalem, they were coming back to a temple in ruins and a lot of work ahead of them to rebuild their homes and communities and livelihoods. Rather than let the people feel overwhelmed by the challenges they were facing, Isaiah wrote words of encouragement and hope. While the people struggled with the tasks of rebuilding, and while they worried about producing enough food and enduring the various conflicts and wars that their king had them involved in, Isaiah told them that God was starting all over again. God was beginning again at the beginning, and God was making a new heaven and a new earth for them. The words of Isaiah’s prophecy may sound familiar to many … Read more »

November 17, 2013

Isaiah 65:17-25 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 Luke 21:5-19 “Making a New World” Today’s passage from Isaiah 65 is about God’s vision for a renewed world. It is a description of a new world that God is going to make in which there will be peace and justice for everyone. People will live long and happy lives, working hard, and reaping the rewards of their work, living in houses, planting crops, and enjoying the blessing of a good relationship with God. For the people of Judah and Jerusalem, sometime after 539 BCE, this vision would have filled them with hope and confidence for the future, as they made their way back to their homeland after the long exile in Babylon. In exile, they had felt alone and abandoned by God. And now, even as they returned to Judah and Jerusalem, they were coming back to a temple in ruins and a lot of work ahead of them to rebuild their homes and communities and livelihoods. Rather than let the people feel overwhelmed by the challenges they were facing, Isaiah wrote words of encouragement and hope. While the people struggled with the tasks of rebuilding, and while they worried about producing enough food and enduring the various conflicts and wars that their king had them involved in, Isaiah told them that God was starting all over again. God was beginning again at the beginning, and God was making a new heaven and a new earth for them. The words of Isaiah’s prophecy may … Read more »

November 29, 2015

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 Luke 21:25-36 “Strengthened By Love” I like the way Ralph Milton shares the background to today’s scripture reading from 1 Thessalonians in the Lectionary Story Bible: Paul liked to tell people about his friend Jesus. He liked to tell them how much God loved them, and how to live in God’s way. Paul and his two friends, Silvanus and Timothy, went to visit people who lived in a city with a very big name. Thessalonica. They stayed there for a long time telling people stories of Jesus and showing them how to live – how to be kind and gentle with each other. Some of the people of Thessalonica said, “We could become a church. We could come together to pray and sing. We could do things together to help others. There are people in our city who don’t have enough to eat and who don’t have a place to live. We could help them.” Paul and his friends were very happy when the people decided to become a church. “Now you can teach each other more about God, and about how to live in God’s way,” he said. “Now Silvanus and Timothy and I can go to other places to tell people about God’s love.” Many days after they had left, Silvanus said to Paul, “I miss the people of Thessalonica. They were kind and gentle people. I think they will become a good, strong church together.” “That’s what our friend Timothy said when he came … Read more »