Join us this week for the
First Sunday of Advent &
Baptism of Marlie Simone Petite
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36 (Inclusive Text)
Jesus said to the disciples:
‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars;
on earth nations in agony, bewildered
by the clamour of the ocean and its waves;
people dying of fear as they await
what menaces the world,
for the powers of heaven will be shaken.
‘And then they will see the Promised One
coming in the cloud with power and great glory.
When these things begin to take place,
stand erect, hold your heads high,
because your liberation is near at hand…’
‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened
with dissipation and drunkenness and the cares of life,
and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap.
‘For it will come down on every living person
on the face of the earth.
‘Stay awake, praying at all times
for the strength to survive all that is going to happen,
and to stand with confidence before the Promised One.’
|So it is a good thing we have sweet little baby Marlie to celebrate on Sunday because the Gospel reading for this week is intense, and there is no glimpse of the teeny, tiny Jesus with the balled-up fists who often gets celebrated this time of year. Nope, this passage is more reminiscent of the visions we wrestled with during the All Saints Service from the book of Revelation and revisited last week during Christ the King Sunday.
What, more apocalypse? But this is Christmas-time. As we prepare for Christ’s birth why not focus on hope and celebrate all things sweetness and light?
All I can say is that our tradition is smarter than that. The ancients knew that you could not fully celebrate light and life without first waiting in the darkness. And that darkness is not always tight and gloomy, but can instead be a place of God’s deepest work. It is into this darkness that we step on Sunday, the first day of the Christian Liturgical Year. We step into the deep, deep blue of the night sky just before dawn. We step into the mystery-yearning to be taught again this year that it is somehow in the waiting that we encounter the mystery of God’s presence.
Join us for a luminous service as we welcome both the Advent season and Teresha and Damon’s extended family and friends, many in from out of town.
Everyone is invited to gather to celebrate God’s love for Marlie and to wait, watch and pray for the in-breaking of Christ into this time and this place.
Peace to you all,
No Community Dinner Tonight. Enjoy Thanksgiving with your family and/or your chosen family! Also if you are feeling the need to connect, join Michael and the Breakfast at Cathedral of Hope ministry at 7am this Saturday to feed 200+ of our town’s vulnerable people.
LOVING THE WORLD BACK TO LIFE
One of the joys of pastoring a church such as Church in the Cliff is how engaged this community is in social investment of various forms. We give money, we organize, we volunteer, we enter into relationship with the poor, locally and globally, and we help and love each other.
Advent Conspiracy is a resource which helps reclaim Christmas. Many in our community find it inspiring, and I invite you to explore the site, watch the video, and share what you think (and do, or don’t do) in response. They suggest slowing down, simplifying, giving relationally, and opening up more space in our hearts for mystery and love. More from their site below…
The story of Christ’s birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.
So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists.
And when it’s all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?
What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?
Welcome to Advent Conspiracy.
Take the challenge and enter the story with us this season.