December 15, 2019

Isaiah 35:1-10 Luke 1:47-55 Matthew 11:2-11 “Here is Your God!” There are a lot of debates that take place at this time of year around worship-planning tables, between clergy and music leaders about which hymns and carols we will sing. Many ministers make a point of avoiding Christmas carols before Christmas Eve, arguing that Advent hymns are more appropriate, since Jesus has “not yet” been born. At the same time, musicians and choirs and congregations are often longing to sing the songs of Christmas joy, even if it’s only mid-December. You may have noticed that our Advent Season here at First Church includes a bit of a mix of Advent carols and Christmas songs, and as we move through the month, we’re including more and more of the Christmas ones. And the reason is not that the Music Team here is very persuasive and convinced the minister to do Christmas early. But rather, it’s because we understand that Advent isn’t only a “not yet” season; it’s also an “already” season. The SALT Lectionary Commentary describes Advent as “a season made for vividly experiencing the eschatological “already/not yet” tension at the heart of Christian life.” It’s the idea that the Messiah has already come to us in Jesus, and the Reign of God has already been inaugurated in his life and ministry. But it has not yet been made complete. The world is waiting, longing, and hoping for the fulfilment of Jesus’ kingdom, when Christ will come again, and the world … Read more »