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Advent is Hope: In Waiting

Second Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 40:1-11

This too-familiar Advent reading can be interpreted as a drama. The drama requires four voices, a band of exiles, and a speaking choir. Voices 1,2,3, and 4 are gathered in a heavenly council high and near the center of the chancel. The band of exiles is visible to one side on the lower level and appears defeated. The speaking choir is opposite the exiles.

Advent is Hope: A New Order

Third Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

Christians associate these words more readily with Jesus (Luke 4) than with Isaiah. Any sermon preached from Isaiah will surely proclaim Jesus as the anointed one, the Christ. But we should not rush too soon to Luke 4. We should first savor the revolutionary radical, wild announcement of the prophet, even though we will be tempted to tame it with reason and common sense.

Advent is Hope: In God's Order

Fourth Sunday of Advent
2 Samuel 7:1-11; 16

This lection is directly tied to the gospel for the day (Luke 1:26-38). But apart from that, this message from God to David marks a turning point in the history of God's people.

Christmas is Hope: Glory to God




Greetings, favored ones, the Lord is with you.

His name is Immanuel, God with us.

Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!

Hymn: "O Come, All Ye Faithful"
[PsH 340, PH 41-42, RL 195, TH 208]

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-7

Imaging Tomorrow: Living with Isaiah in Advent and Christmas

It was Heidi's fourth birthday, and we had planned to go on a family outing to Playland in Rye, New York. As we sar-dined ourselves into the "birthday mobile," we were in a festive mood, ready for a day of fun and celebration. But just as we were about to pull out of the driveway the telephone started its ominous j anglings. The kids were armed with ready wisdom, "They'll call back— c'mon, Dad." But Dad didn't listen; the Calvinist tug was too intense.