Audio and Scripture from weekly sermons.
The first Sunday of Advent is always a little awkward. We’ve made the turn from Thanksgiving, and had a week of preparations since unpacking from traveling or cleaning up the house from all the people we love who visited – but we’re also kind of relieved they have gone to their own homes. We had your wonderful staff and spouses over to our house Friday evening, which meant we had a deadline to get decorated for the season – which made for a busy week but now we’re done. The chill in the air showed up on Wednesday, Christmas music is in full swing in every store you go into or on the radio. Parties and parades and all the requisite cheesy holiday movies everywhere you turn. It’s beginning to feel just a little bit like Christmas might actually be coming.
Yet, every year, the Lectionary throws us a curve ball. Each year we preachers know it’s coming, but it still strikes as a surprise. We’ll soon turn to Matthew’s genealogy, to Luke, meeting Elizabeth and Zechariah and John the Baptist, a miraculous baby born to point the way to another miraculous baby born. We’ll read of the angel visiting Mary, of her saying “yes,” and singing her Magnificat. Mary and Joseph will travel towards Bethlehem for the census and have trouble finding a place to stay. Soon the stories that are familiar will settle in, yearning for the moment when we’ll sing Silent Night with candles held high, the glow on each other’s faces.Read more....
Sermon by Alex Stayer-Brewington, Associate Pastor for Youth & Families
I don’t think you’ll disagree when I say that we are living in dark times.
Fires rage. Thousand-year-floods occur every September.
Guns in schools. Guns in churches. Guns in nightclubs.
Nazis marching in the in the streets of American cities.
Things aren’t looking good.
All this is enough to inspire a young youth pastor
to stick his curly head in the sand.
Like an ostrich, I would rather shut out the ugliness than deal with it.
I’d rather find escape and distraction in the black hole of Netflix,
than subject myself to the horrific reality of the 24-hour news cycle.
So like many Christians before me and no doubt many after me,Read more....
I try to take comfort in a timeless set of stories.
I find escape in stories that carry the promise of a better tomorrow.