Awaiting Revelation1 Advent, Year C
A blessed morning and Happy New Year to you all.
Today we stand at the door of the holy season of Advent, the beginning of the church year, the season of expectation and anticipation. We are replete with thanksgiving for this season just past; the ghosts of turkey leftovers haunting our refrigerators.
So, how did your Thanksgiving go? Was it as joyous as years previous? Did you find just a tiny bit of…. wistfulness, of hesitation present? Of care and concern? We all have a great deal to be thankful for– not the least of which is the relative safety of our little neck of the woods; far from the violence of our country’s great cities, or the war-torn parts of this globe. But it is a “relative” safety. In a world constantly shrinking through the miracles of instant communications and easy travel, danger and the awareness of danger is ever present. And as the residents of Colorado Springs can attest, violence and danger can even be found in our own backyards.
This morning’s Gospel lesson from Luke continues from last week those dread words describing apocalyptic vision, “… and on the earth distress among nations confused… People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Here we stand awaiting hope and justice and the kingdom of God while the world around us quakes in terror, and violence; seemingly in yet one news report after another. Where is our deliverance? In the words of the psalm, “whence cometh our help?”
Read more: This Week's Sermon
A congregation gathers on a Sunday morning. There has been a lot of preparation. The altar has been set, bulletins have been printed, the heat turned up. The choir has practiced. Worship begins with The Word: Scripture and sermon, hymns and prayers have challenged and inspired. At God's Table, all come to to be reconciled to God and one another through Christ's body and blood. Renewed and strengthened we are Sent to live into our calling as apostles in the world. But first... the fellowship of coffee hour awaits. The Church, St. Paul said, is the body of Christ and each a member. It's true! Never perfect, filled with all sorts and characters and yet, a beautiful living organism of God's grace.
What do I give my heart to? What are my core values? Who am I? What is my identity? Where am I? Where am I going? Who am I becoming?
I was blessed to be part of a week long retreat with other “Recently Ordained Clergy” (ROC) in the last part of October. Twenty-six of us were guided and mentored through this maze of questions by a wondrous team of eight ordained and lay leaders in The Episcopal Church.
Although it was a time of deep reflection, it was not an exercise in abstractions. Preparations began long before our arrival at the gorgeous, sunny, Outerbanks of North Carolina. Truthfully it was a lot of work pulling together financial records ranging from savings to budgets, credit scores, and tax returns. We asked ourselves, “Who am I as a financial being?” We looked at how our spirituality is grounded concretely and expressed through the wise use of the resources we have been given. The scriptural phrase “wise as serpents, gentle as doves” (Mt 10:16) came to mind as I examined my spending and investment habits.
Heavy emphasis is placed on discerning what our core values are and if our vocations and lifestyle are in alignment with those values. Who has God called– me–to be? How does my passion fuel my life’s work?
Read more: Rector's Message
"We are the Episcopal Church, welcoming all and practicing our faith through worship, discipleship, fellowship and service."
Transcripts of earlier sermons