DECEMBER 5, 2021

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

LUKE 1:68-79; PHILLIPPIANS 1:3-11; LUKE 3:1-6

Forerunners and messengers advance the advent of our God.  While John the baptizer’s voice in the wilderness may be the principal focus of the day.  Malachi’s prophecy could as easily herald the coming Christ as forerunner of the Lord of hosts.  Finally, all the baptized are called to participate in the sharing of the gospel. In so doing we prepare the way for the coming of Jesus and assist all people in capturing a vision of the “salvation of God.”

DECEMBER 12, 2021

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

ISAIAH 12:2-6; PHILLIPPIANS 4:4-7; LUKE 3:7-18

Christ’s presence in our midst in the wonder of the holy supper is cause for singing.  The nearness of the God in prayer, in every circumstance, is cause for rejoicing.  The coming of one “more powerful” than John, even with a winnowing fork in hand, is good news – and cause for exultation – for us who are being saved.  Great joy is the tone for the third Sunday of Advent.

DECEMBER 19, 2021

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

LUKE 1:46b-55; PSALM 80:1-7; HEBREWS 10:5-10; LUKE 1:39-45 [46-55]

Cradle and cross are inextricably connected to the fourth Sunday of Advent.  Between a lovely tribute to the little town of Bethlehem and Mary’s magnificent song of praise, the letter to the Hebrews reminds us in no uncertain terms that Christ’s advent is for “the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” It is the kind of tension in which the church always lives as when in holy communion – with the high delight – “we proclaim the Lord’s death”.

DECEMBER 26, 2021

FIRST SUNDAY OF CHRISTMAS

1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26, Psalm 148, Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:41-52,

On the first Sunday of Christmas we find the boy Samuel and the boy Jesus, both in the temple, both growing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and humankind.  We too have returned to the house of God “to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God,” who has gifted us with a savior.  As the festival continues, “let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.”  It is Christmas still.