Preparing for Dec. 17, 2017, Third Sunday of Advent

12-17-2017 Welcome

  Story: Isaiah 55:1-12 (p. 671-2, Pew Bible)

Theme: Word of Welcome

 Title:  “A New Shape for the World”

Reflection: Isaiah – Joy

“There is something very contemporary here especially as the world moves ever more towards a politics of fear and anxiety. It is a mark of most political campaigns today that a party will offer fear as the alternative to their own manifesto. It reduces people down to consumers who are simply led by unease and worry. A covenantal community rises above that. God’s community offers the love of neighbor that is unconditional, with welcome and justice for all people. It is a choice to make and this Advent we are offered that choice again to live towards the covenantal community which Isaiah so readily longs for these own people to remember and return to. The alternative is to continue to become consumers in the Babylonian Empire as if it is the only way. “It isn’t the only way!” says Isaiah. The Babylonians offer a form of governance which is fairly close to the way empire is still built in our own age: of superpowers playing chess with folk for what seems at times like solely the gain of the powerful, with ethics becoming very grey and confused. In stark contrast stands God’s covenantal community and Isaiah is our lead person in proclaiming a return to it. Its purpose is more than just about ourselves. This covenantal way is not the way of empire, which is about building something for ourselves off the backs of others, but instead living towards those others: neighbors, foreigners, the poor, in fact, all the characters the nativity story represents. There is Isaiah’s call in story form: the covenant of love made real in the world. Then and now, we are being called back. Advent is God’s invitation to live the alternative to the empire building way of shaping our world.” (Spill the Beans, Volume 25)

Music We Will Sing:

*HYMN (verse 3, Insert)   “Advent Song”  (LIGHT THE ADVENT CANDLE)

*HYMN #356   “The Days Are Surely Coming”            (LLANGLOFFAN)

*HYMN #611   “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”    (HYMN TO JOY)

 

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