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Friday, November 29, 2013

Writing about Waiting for the First Sunday of Advent

Week 49 - Advent 1 photo Week49-Advent1_zpsddc965e0.jpgToday I am writing (or trying to write) my sermon for sunday.  I've written a little more than a page and a half.  I'm working with Isaiah 2: 1 - 5 and Matthew 24: 36 - 44. I've already posted a little bit of what I've written today (We Ignore the Prophet) though this poem isn't going to be part of my sermon (at least not as I'm currently writing it.)

This series of background images (Wait, Repent, Rejoice, Doubt) is available for you to download and to use as your very own.

As I'm writing, I remember that I've used this idea "waiting" on the first sunday of Advent in years past.   Here's a short bit from a sermon I wrote a couple of years ago based on Isaiah 64: 1 - 9

The Christmas Creep has infected us, and our symptoms are getting worse every year. The orgy of
consumer driven Black Friday sales begin earlier and earlier each year.  Thanksgiving dinner is barely cleared from the table before we’re off the stores. We’ve hardly finished saying “Thank you, Lord for all that we have been given,” before we’re out the door to buy more stuff.

And there are more reports of violence every year as impatient shoppers trample and shove and shoot and pepper-spay those around them in their maniacal drive to be the first to purchase that oh-so-essential Christmas item.   There is no waiting. There is only pushing and shoving.

There is no waiting.
“What do we want?”
“Christmas!”
“When do we want it?”
“NOW!”

We rush into Christmas without any waiting around for Advent, there’s no time for waiting. This is a holiday frenzy.  There’s Christmas in the waters and we’re like sharks that can’t stop moving or we’ll die. We’re thrashing around for that “Christmas Spirit” of celebration and joy and we must keep moving. We decorate, and we bake, and we shop, and we carol, and we wrap, and we wassail, and we share holiday greetings, and we insist that we are keeping the Christ in Christmas but if there is no waiting, there is no Advent. And if there is no Advent – there can be no (real) Christmas.

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