Showing posts from December, 2010

Advent Week Four - The Big Event "Restore!"

This Sunday is the 4th Sunday of the Season of Advent .  It's the last Sunday before Christmas Eve, and the end of a long season of expectation. The passage of scripture that I am preaching from this week is from Psalm 80.  I don't often get the chance to preach from one of the Psalms, so it's kind of a treat.  I have a BA in English Lit, which I don't get to use a whole lot in my current gig.  But when I dig my hands into the Psalms--which are essentially poetry--it really gets me going and brings out my inner Bible/Lit geek. There's a refrain in Psalm 80 that is repeated throughout the psalm in one form or another.  It goes something like this:  "Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us that we may be saved." As I read that refrain and the rest of the psalm as well, I found myself asking a question:  "What does it mean to be "saved?"  I mean, it's obvious that being "saved" is pretty important to the author

Third Sunday of Advent - "Get Pumped!"

This week is the 3rd Sunday of Advent .  Christmas is almost here and I haven't even really started my Christmas shopping.  I haven't even put up my tree yet, to be honest.  The Lowe's was out of good ones when I went to buy one the other day with the wife and kids.  We could have bought a scrawny looking Douglas Fir that was losing needles like crazy, but we decided to wait until the new shipment of trees came in from "up North."  Sadly, two days later the truck still has not arrived due to bad weather.  Bah. The irony that this was not expected during a season of expectation is not lost on me. The lectionary text that I am preaching from this week is James 5:7-10.  When I chose the texts that I wanted to preach from this Advent, I purposefully chose the ones that seemed like they were shouting. Something tells me that if James was being written today and sent via email that most of this passage I'm about to share would be in all caps.  In fact, I am go

The Big Event - 2nd Sunday of Advent

This Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent, and I am preaching once again from the Lectionary.  If you who aren't part of faith communities that employs words like "advent" and "lectionary" I know that it sounds sort of stuffy and formal.  It's not.  Christians have been celebrating the season of Advent for centuries, and the lectionary is simply a way to group Scriptures together so that they can relate to the season.  In fact, if you read the lectionary texts every single day you would make your way almost completely through the entire Bible in three years. That's my primer on church history stuff for the day... The word Advent means "expectation."  Last week I challenged our congregation to expect something incredible this Advent season.  We also learned that we live in a time that is "now" and "not yet."  The Messiah has arrived and the Messiah is also on his way.  We need to live with a sense of urgency and hopefuln

The Big Event - Week One "Wake Up!"

This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. I am always surprised when Advent arrives.  It's a bittersweet moment each and every year because I am instantly reminded that Christmas Eve is coming, and that I am woefully unprepared.  Therpresents to be purchased, lights to be hung, a thousand things to do...   It sort of makes you tired when you think about it.  As if I wasn't tired enough already... My wife and I just drove back to Florida from North Carolina last night.  We left early after spending Thanksgiving with her parents in their mountain home.  Our baby boy had a bad cold and my wife had one of those overwhelming mom moments where she had to be at home with him.  I was driving a U-haul truck with our middle son, who is 6.  The truck was filled with furniture that my in-laws had given to us after their move.  My wife was in our car with our oldest and littlest boys.  We were on the road for over 11 hours.  My oldest boy, who has his driver's permit drove for ov