I hope you all had a blessed Christmas. May love, peace, and joy be yours in the New Year!
For an unbelievably lovely reading of the poem Annunciation by Marie Howe, listen here:
The full report released by the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County detailing the needs of women in this region -- I hope you find the report as surprising as I do.
Daniel 7:9-28 and Luke 1:67-79
Suggested Scripture Readings from We Make the Road by Walking by Brian McLaren
Here's a link to a poem by Jane Kenyon. I read her beautiful words to begin Advent worship.
I did a fair amount of research preparing for this sermon, mostly because talking about apocalyptic literature in the Bible is so complicated especially given recent world events in the Middle East and Europe. Click titles to links. Here's a good introduction to the Book of Daniel in the New American Bible from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Graham Beynon has some useful material as well in his article The Message of Daniel -- thoughtful reflection on the questions the biblical author pushes us toward like our relationships as people of faith and as Americans to foreign nations. Although, I should say I do not fall into his camp dating the Book of Daniel to the 6th Century BCE. I'm with the historical-critical school on this one. And of course, can't leave out the Lutherans. Although written in the 1990s, this article by Wendell W. Frerichs titled "How Many Weeks until the End?" has helpful language you will hear infusing the sermon. He very helpfully says that the visibility of violent regimes signals their impending decay, a major talking point near the close of my sermon. Such a great thought for our times!
Here's a link to the referenced David Brooks op-ed on resilience and storytelling:
I read a passage aloud on the difference between hoping and wishing from We Make the Road by Walking by Brian McLaren to close worship. It's in Chapter 14.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of resources. Hope some of it is helpful to you along the way.