Last Sunday was the final week of Advent. It is the week that we historically prepare for the fist advent (coming) of Christ by looking to his mother, Mary. As the church calendar fell this year, the final Sunday of Advent occurred just one day before Christmas Eve. In many ways this made it seem like we were having back to back services and that the fourth Sunday was passed over to look to Christmas.
Fr. Mark Scotton shared a word for us on how Mary, the mother of Jesus teaches us to be a faithful follower of Jesus. In many regards Mary is the first disciple of her son Jesus and is constantly pointing the faithful to her son Jesus.
My father-in-law is a Chiropractor. Really, the majority of my wife’s side of the family are chiropractors. As you can imagine, I hear regularly at the family gatherings the need for “realignment” or get an invitation to be “adjusted.” The idea is that if left unchecked, the spine often gets misaligned and can lead to other problems in the body. The solution is to make sure everything is in proper alignment and working as it should.
This past Sunday I preached a sermon on realignment called “repent.” In Christian spirituality repentance in the means by which we realign our inner person (who we are, our identities, our thoughts, will, emotions, heart,etc.) into alignment with the will of good and holy God who desires the best life for his children.
3 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall become straight,
and the rough places shall become level ways, 6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
This week’s sermon builds on theprevious sermon entitled “active waiting.” Not only do we actively wait during the season of Advent for our Lord Christ to return, but we also “actively remember” our story as the people of God.
The Scripture Readings for the third week of Advent were: