LESSON: Isaiah 2:1-5
MESSAGE: “Hope in Peace”
This week we begin the season of Advent; preparing ourselves for the coming Spirit of Christ. Often it feels like our preparations for Christmas involve lots of things that we do. Decorations that we put up, gifts that we buy, cookies that we make, letters that we write, dinner that we prepare, and traveling to visit loved ones far away. It can feel good, and sometimes connected, but often it’s anything but peaceful. As we enter into Advent, it feels like what we really need is peace.
Likewise, when we look at the news and see conflicts around the world and in our own nation, it’s hard to fit in with our typical images of Christmas. In the face of war in Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen, armed conflict with cartels and refugees stuck at the border in Mexico, and gun violence in our own country; again, what we really need is peace.
This Sunday we’ll start Advent with the prophet Isaiah, who presented a vision of God’s peace roughly 2800 years ago with a call to beat our swords into tools for farming and equity for those who are poor and on the margins. As we prepare for Christmas, we center our hopes on this sort of peace that stops the wheel of violence and affirms the life of all humanity.
And also I want to extend a “Happy Thanksgiving” to you! May you find peace where you are amidst the hustle and bustle of this time, and may your connections with those close to you be full of meaningful joy! Many blessings, Chris
Prelude: “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” Johann Sebastian Bach
Anthem: “Laudamus te” Vivaldi
Meditation: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel soloist, Andy Bean
Postlude: “Waltz Op. 69, No. 1″ Frederic Chopin
We will be learning about Thanksgiving this Sunday.
Our scripture verse is Luke 17:11-19 Ten people with leprosy were cured and only one returned to thank Jesus for the gift of healing.