But if you look really closely you'll spot the differences -- the second candle has been lit, the scripture has been changed, and the word PEACE is bursting out to reach us.
Those changes mean this coming Sunday will be the Second Sunday in Advent -- the Sunday of Peace. As we continue our journey of anticipation and expectation this Sunday we hear the story of John the Baptist, the preparer of the way, the one who came to make "straight the paths of the Lord." As we dive deep into the story of John the Baptist we'll find that his is fundamentally a story of change -- the changes that define the world, the changes that we need to make in order to welcome Christ, the changes that are all around us.
Our scripture reading for this Sunday is Mark 1:1-8:
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight” ’,
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’
It is kinda strange to call it the Sunday of Peace, when John the Baptist has a rabble rousing way of reminding us about change. I suppose it must be because we have the peace of knowing that God is at work in the midst of change!
Come join us this Sunday, the Second Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Peace at FCC Scottsdale. And if you are free, come and join us the day before, Saturday December 3 starting at 8AM for our Hanging of the Greens All Church Decorating Event! It is going to be fabulous, and you'll be able to be a part of the change that helps our church get ready for the celebration of Christ's birth this Christmas! See you there.