Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Whiteboard: Advent 1

Advent is a season of preparation.

It is the beginning of a new year for us in the worship life of the church. A year that does not begin with the revelry and celebration of Christmas or with the cosmos reshaping events of Easter. 

No, our year begins with preparation because faith is about the journey as much as it is about any end destination. So we carve out this time to get ready, to prayerfully consider our preparation. What do we need to do to steady our hearts and steel our wills as we eagerly anticipate the birth of Christ once more in our hearts and in our world.

This Sunday we will gather. 

We will pray. 

We will sing. 

We will share the old, old stories and join our hearts with the dreams that God has for us today. We will prepare our hearts and talk about hope. Because it is into a world just such as this that Christ Jesus came to reveal the fullness of God's love, the promise of God's forgiveness, and the opportunity of a life truly worth living.

Come and light a Candle of Peace with us this Sunday at FCC Scottsdale.


Matthew 3:1-12 The Proclamation of John the Baptist

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,
‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.” ’ 
Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

‘I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’

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