(Modified 2021-11-28: Added audio recording of this sermon)
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
November 28, 2021
St. Mary’s Regina
by Paula Foster
Every so often, we get a strong reminder that the ways of God are not the ways of the world. According to the ways of the world, Christmas is lighten-up time…one month out of twelve when we give ourselves permission (perhaps guardedly because of Covid) to go to parties and buy gifts for friends and family and decorate our homes with trees, lights and ornaments of every kind. It is the season of eggnog and sweets and assorted beverages when the instinct to purchase is hallowed and overeating is required. Whatever else is going on in the world, Christmas is a time to rise above it…to be happy, to be at peace, to anticipate birth.
The ways of God are less cheerful, overall. They offer us no shortcuts to joy. If the church calendar is any indication, things always get darker before they get light. No matter how much we’d like to take a straight road to Christmas, there are these dark days of Advent to go through first. Advent leads us down a road that leads through the graveyard of our sinfulness, through the wilderness, and through a river of repentance. There is a lot of waiting along the way, waiting and telling the truth about all the scary things that can happen before the birth of real joy takes place.Continue reading “Advent 1, 2021 – Sermon”