From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 2nd Sunday of Advent

Hi everyone,

So it happened again. The video for this morning’s worship glitched and muted all the sound. This time wasn’t my fault too, I had everything set right, but I guess the software wasn’t having a good day. I guess with the free software that I’m using, I got what I paid for…

However, I noticed something about me as I did last time the video didn’t work. I was fine with it. It feels like people around me are scared that I’ll flip out because I’ve garnered a bit of a reputation, but I feel like those who watch regularly are patient and understanding (at least I haven’t received any complaints), and there are other ways to get the sermon and the service even if it isn’t big production type thing that we’re accustomed to.

This isn’t to say that I don’t care about the worship experience at home, I still do a great deal or I wouldn’t spend the time that I do with making it happen. But I seem to be able to let go of the things I can’t change (you know, like the past) and instead try to learn from the mistakes and be better next time.

I know, I probably shouldn’t talk as this is the second time this has happened (at least in recent memory), but it’s a slow progression for me. But still, it’s a progression. I guess what I’m saying is that by God’s grace, people can change. Truly. I mean, even typing these words out seem weird for me as normally I would be freaking out. But thanks be to God, I think I’m in a good space.

Here are the readings for next week:
Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Romans 15:4-13
Matthew 3:1-12

Good ol’ John the Baptizer is back with his “repent” message. Often we hear this and cringe, because to repent also means that we are admitting that we have something to repent from, and that isn’t always easy. I think this is why John had an issue with some of the recipients of his baptism, they were coming for show without any kind of acknowledgement that they needed anything other than themselves.

Repenting isn’t easy for anyone though, really. It’s hard to look at ourselves and see our flaws. It’s hard to see our past and accept that we aren’t the greatest that we always assumed that we are. It’s hard to be humbled by the truth of ourselves.

But by God’s grace, we can do it. By God’s empowering love, we can be changed. By God’s Spirit living in and around us, we can be humbled by God’s wisdom revealed to us, allowing us to see each other with equity and live with each other in peace.

This is the promise that comes with the Christ child. This is the hope that we share in knowing we are headed into a better future. This is the love of God, that brings us into community and changes us to live in peace.

So I pray that as we continue to grow and be humbled by God, that we soften our lenses of each other and lift each other up as siblings in Christ: beloved and forgiven, welcomed and redeemed, saved and lifted up by God’s unending and steadfast love!

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

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