And with this Sacrament comes an epistle reading that tells us of one of our most important challenges in or lives: growing up and becoming adults! It is true spiritualy as well as in the mundane world. Look at all the rules which were forced upon us when we were children, and how free and unfettered the grown-ups seemed to be.
But, do you know what? Most of us who have reached adulthood may agree that not as many people are screaming rules at us, but that’s mostly because the rules of times past have done their job. And so it can and should be spiritually.
And with this sacrament, we celebrate Jesus’ birth, the fulfillment of many prophecies in Biblical times. But take a look at it, and it wasn’t just a fulfillment. It was a fulfillment in one way, but in a larger sense it was the beginning of a fulfillment – look at all that Jesus is going to have to do between the Bethlehem manger and Easter. It kink of makes sense that we have the Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter together, and all that Jesus did in bewteen during the rest of the year! There’s that much to it, and more!
This morning, I was feeling rather ill, but it is Christmas, I know what priests do for their people on Christmas, and we are no so well-heeled that we can find a convenient substitute priest.
And a blessed Christmas to all of you!
And here, with our sacrament, we find some of the deeper words of the Bible, even if some folks don’t seem to think so. Paul writes about “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” To those who have studied the Gnostic path, this might seem self-evident. Bot to a lot of folks, it isn’t. Passeth all understanding? Well, just how does the fullness of The Divine compare to our level of knowledge anyway?
And then there is the gospel in which John the Baptist speaks of “There is one among you whom ye know not.” One among them implies that someone might know the person in the mundane sense, but how about knowing who the person really is? Are they being told that someone they are waiting for has arrived and they don’t know it? Has something like that happened to any of us in our lives?
And here, with our Eucharist, we have a lesson which for many is actually a recurring theme. John The Baptist’s disciples come and ask Jesus that famous qurestion of all: “Are you the one we’ve been waiting for, or should we wait for another?” He answered them, and then he posed a question to the crowd of people who were there to see him.
The question he was asked by John’s disciples and the question he asked the crowd tie in nicely with each other, and they also provide us with our own question. And, ti seems to me, it shows something we need to be able to do!
We received word today that Bertha Ann Lawrence passed away on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Her funeral will be on December 15th.
Prayers for her and also for her family. That includes her son, Bishop Mark Lawrence, and her other children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
For Bishop Mark Lawrence and his family:
Bishop Lawrence and his family are requesting prayer for the Bishop’s mother, Bertha Ann Lawrence, who is gravely ill. We are also asking for traveling mercies for the Lawrences as they travel to be with her.
Almighty God, look on this your servant, Bertha,
lying in great weakness and comfort her with the promise of life everlasting,
given in the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
And so, we have advent here, and advent means that something is coming. But what, and when? Go to a street corner in some towns, and you’ll find an evangelist telling you that the time is right now, and there are plenty of TV preachers who will be happy to tell you what to do in trhe time that’s left. But wait! They’ve been saying that since the Ascension.
Well, we have here some words to tell you what you might look for, and it’s coupled woth words based on common knowledge and common sense. All that, and a sacrament, too!
Let’s see what we can see!