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Here's the Leonard Cohen song, Anthem, I reference:
We continue along in the season of Epiphany, the time in the church year when we hear stories that help us get to know Jesus better. God has come among us as a baby born to a teenage Palestinian girl in a manger in an animal stall behind a sold out motel. Wise men of the day have sought him out and we too seek him. Week after week, we’ll hear stories that help us understand more about this God who has made himself known in the person of Jesus Christ. Today we hear one of the most famous stories of Jesus’ power--his miraculous turning of water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana.
These Epiphany stories will give us signs of Jesus’ promise of presence, and God’s enduring promise of hope and abundance.
They will also show us that again and again that in God’s hands there is no limit to what is possible.
This week the Epiphany season also shares the holiday on which we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.--the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was above all a Christ follower and we cannot know his story fully without entering into the story of God made known in the person of Jesus Christ.
Every year on the King Holiday I make sure to re-read his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. I first encountered it in high school and it changed my life.
This piece was published as part of the Advent Meditations of the Office of Young Adult Ministries
It’s Christmas Eve! We’ve been waiting and preparing and hoping and wondering and longing for this night for weeks now.
Tonight we join in Mary’s last moments of waiting. Tonight we, the Church, are like young Mary–very pregnant, stretched full with impossibility made possible, full of confusion and wonder and hope and expectation. Like this young woman, we are ready to give birth.
We join Mary in her expectant-ness. Tonight the Church takes deep breaths; tonight the Church pushes so hard against the heavens that God slips right through and into our very own world. God becomes like us.
See, we know that humans are made in God’s image. But we’re not always particularly good at actually being images of God. So God helps us out. God decides–chooses–to give us some more information. God comes to live with us, to walk around in a body just like we have in a world just like ours. In the life of Jesus, we’ll see how God would live life. We’ll see that it means hanging out with people nobody else likes; we’ll see that it means giving up what we want or what is easy for what is right and what is good; we’ll see that love and forgiveness and truth can beat anything. We’ll see that they can beat confusion, disappointment, betrayal, injustice, and even illness and death. And in the end, Jesus will do all that for each of us.
How do you feel in these last few hours before the big arrival?
What have you learned during Advent that helps you anticipate Jesus‘ arrival?
What has God been preparing in you–how is your heart different now than a few weeks ago?
What new things are you about to give birth to in your own life as a follower of Jesus?
Tonight we celebrate that God chose to become human for a while.
Mercy–being kind and forgiving–has a face.
Hope–trusting in God’s promise to be with us always–has a heart and lungs.
Love–LOVE–has hands and feet and eyes and ears.
Tonight God’s story becomes a person we can know.
As any of our children can tell you--it's still not Christmas!
Here we sit on the fourth Sunday of Advent. Here we sit in our fourth week of waiting.
We’ve been waiting and preparing and hoping and wondering and longing for weeks now. And we've almost arrived.
Maybe you've seen this already, but...one more example of why the Church can't ignore social media: it has power! It tells the story!
I have a post up today on the Advent blog for the Episcopal Church's Office of Young Adult Ministries:
During Advent, we are preparing our hearts to experience the arrival of the Word of God. We’re told to keep watch and to stay awake. We are supposed to pay attention to what God is up to in the world. In this passage from Luke, a young adult named John is hanging out in the wilderness, trying to learn more about who God is.