Sunday, November 26, 2017

November 26, 2017 - Last Sunday after Pentecost: Christ the King

Readings for today.

Listen to the Sermon.

Well, here we are.  We’re coming to the end of Thanksgiving weekend, which means there is no denying that the holiday season has truly begun.  Parties, family time, gifts, special events, decoration, cookies, friend time, more cooking and eating, photos, cards.  I’m exhausted already, and it hasn’t even really started.

Here in the church we are at the end of the year.  This Sunday, called the Last Sunday after Pentecost or Christ the King Sunday, is the last Sunday in the church calendar.  Next week, we start a new year, with the first Sunday in Advent.  Advent is the season of preparation for the birth of Jesus.  Advent has its own rituals and traditions, like lighting the Advent wreath and setting aside time for reflection and preparing our own hearts for Jesus’ arrival.  

These two seasons of preparation - the ‘holiday’ season of our culture and the season of Advent - seem both paradoxical and complementary.  

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The 23rd Sunday after Pentecost

Readings for today (track 1).

Listen to the Sermon.

Is there anyone here who likes to wait for things?  Traffic?  Test results?  College acceptance letters?  It’s ok, you can raise your hand.

Hmmm.  It looks like not one of us likes to wait.  And, yet, waiting is part of life.  There are times when we have to wait.  There are even rooms designated for waiting.  Sometimes we wait for good things - like the birth of a healthy child or closing on our dream house or a job promotion or college acceptance.  And sometimes we wait for difficult things - like to see if we’ll be pregnant this time, or foreclosure on our home, or the test results to see if the cancer has returned.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

All Saints' Sunday & Pledge Ingathering

Readings for the Day (track 1).

Listen to the Sermon.

Imagine yourself in a beautiful church, with a domed roof over the main altar.  You look up and realize that the inside of the dome is covered with icons, paintings of saints, in rich colors and gold leaf.  You look again and see that the saints are holding hands with one another, and they seem to be dancing.  
Dancing saints.  What an idea.  The great cloud of witnesses, dancing together like you might at a fancy party or a magnificent feast.  The great multitude robed in white, palm branches in their hands, dancing and singing praises to God.
Finding that you can’t tear your eyes from those dancing saints, you look again.