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Third Sunday of Advent – Joy

 

Reading: Isaiah 43:1-7

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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

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Why I Came Back

“I know you doubt me. I know you always have. And you’re right: I often think of Bag End. I miss my books. And my armchair. And my garden. See that’s where I belong. That’s home. That’s why I came back; because you don’t have one – a home. It was taken from you. But I will help you take it back if I can.”

– Biblo Baggins to Thorin Oakenshield, in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

It’s a good movie. Don’t get me wrong. But it’s not been my favorite of Jackson’s renditions of Tolkein’s Middle-Earth. Even after watching The Hobbit a half dozen times or so since it’s release, it’s still not my favorite. But there is something compelling about this story – or this part of the story – that has continued to resonate with me and my understanding of the church’s mission. Continue reading

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