Learning to Stand up Straight, Living with Regret, and Hope in a Time of Turmoil: Sermons for Advent and Christmas 2018

December 2nd: Jeremiah 33:14-16, Psalm 25:1-10, and Luke 21:26-36

‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth...
— Luke 3:4-5
Photo Credit: Iain Beveridge, Carrizo Plain, December 2018

Photo Credit: Iain Beveridge, Carrizo Plain, December 2018

December 9th: Malachi 3:1-4, Luke 1:68-79 and Luke 3:1-6

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?
— Malachi 3:1-2a
Photo Credit: Iain Beveridge, Carrizo Plain December 2018

Photo Credit: Iain Beveridge, Carrizo Plain December 2018

December 24th: Isaiah 9:2-7 and Luke 2:1-20

When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
— Luke 2:17-19
Thank you HumanKind SLO for more fair trade treasures.

Thank you HumanKind SLO for more fair trade treasures.

Good Friday: The Seven Last Words of Christ

Pain is a holy angel who shows us treasures that would otherwise remain forever hidden...But it needs to be overcome every time, and thus there is an even holier angel than the one of pain; that is, the one of joy in God.
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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On Good Friday, we asked seven people from our community to reflect on one phrase from Jesus' death -- words uttered from the cross.  The experiences were personal and deeply considered.  It was a night in which we stayed present not just to the suffering of Christ, but to the suffering of Christ within each of us.  And they are a testament to resilience.  Each of these compelling devotional responses were a blessing to all of us who heard them.  

May they bless you in your hearing.