Third Sunday of Advent – Joy
Reading: Isaiah 43:1-7
God’s people had been in exile, far from home. They had lived among a people who did not know God, or care for God. Their lives had been shaped by their absence from the Promised Land. The last time they had seen their homes, they had been marched away as captives. The sinking realization that their sins had finally caught up with them took hold of their hearts and their imaginations. Isaiah’s message comes to them as they are far away from home, and as they feel far away from God. Continue reading
Second Sunday of Advent – Peace
Reading: Isaiah 12
“Where were you when…?” has unfortunately become a question in which we share our personal experiences of communal suffering and brokenness. Each generation seems to have a singularly epic and often tragic moment that seals a particular “that day” into their collective memory.
Advent marks the beginning of the Christian calendar, a way of marking time through the story of our redemption in Jesus Christ. The year begins with a season of waiting and expectation as we celebrate Jesus’ birth and anticipate his return.
I’ve written a daily devotional for Advent this year. The devotional is a companion resource to a sermon series I’m leading in the congregation I pastor. The sermons and the devotional focus on “Hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ through Isaiah”. As a way of sharing a bit of this journey with you, I am posting the devotional entries for each Sunday on this blog. Continue reading
I went to the Ash Wednesday chapel service at Redeemer University College this week. I found a place toward the back simply to sit and be still. The house lights were down, making solitude possible even in a crowd of familiar faces.
The simplicity of the worship proved powerful. Song followed by a well read passage of scripture; another song with a two-part reading of scripture; an invitation to come forward while a the musicians led another song; and then a closing blessing and a final song. The darkness of the space, the richly voiced scripture readings, the soft rising and falling of contemplative singing allowed for surprisingly deep stillness in a short 30 minute service. Continue reading