Tuesday, December 6, 2011

First Sunday of Advent - Learning to Pay Attention

This blog had a short run as a place to raise some discussion based on a previous Sunday’s message – now it is being resurrected as a place to post my Sunday messages for those who have been requesting them, as well as providing a forum for feedback, added insights, deeper questions, or even points of disagreement.

After Last Sunday begins again with the onset of the Christian Year with the celebration of the first Sunday of Advent.  Our community is in the midst of an Advent and Christmas series focusing on Awesome Deeds We Do Not Expect. 

In this focus we give our attention to God who enters our world in many ways – some large and dramatic, others small and subtle.  Isaiah’s imagery about mountains falling down, valleys standing up, and unlikely people appearing on the road is not about a dramatic moment as a decisive change.  God’s presence is disruptive and surprising, never safe or predictable.  Nothing pictures the surprising nature of God’s presence than God’s coming in the person of Jesus.

During this Advent season, we are invited to meditate on God’s sure coming – but often in places we would not think to look.  We are invited to ponder God’s awesome deeds – but often not the ones we would expect.  What we celebrate and anticipate this Advent is the unexpected manner of God’s coming in Jesus, and the unexpected ways God is still coming.

The message for the first Sunday of Advent focused on the following Scriptures (particularly the ones in bold font):   Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19, Isaiah 64:1-9, Mark 13:24-37, 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

The message – Learning to Pay Attention (click on the title to be connected to the message) addressed our longings for dramatic revelations of God, yet, God often enters our lives in unexpected ways that catch us unaware if we aren’t alert and watching.  Even small moments can be vessels of God’s awesome deeds.  God is near – so keep awake and pay attention!

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