We light the 2nd candle of Advent signifying peace.
In prayer, let us begin our liturgy as a community.
Our responses will be highlighted in yellow.
Lord, what started out as blessing:
to be fruitful in the land and to multiply,
has coiled into burden causing us
to question our nature apart from work.
Lord, what started out as pure devotion
has struck our heel and head causing us
to question our connection with you.
We turned to structures and systems and self.
We were lied to and taken advantage of.
We lost our way and grew scales to protect what remained.
While it was natural to self protect,
the scales are heavy now, far too heavy.
And we’ve stayed too long in these skins.
Come, Holy Spirit, and show us the way
to a safe space so that we can remember our
genuine nature, connection, and create anew.
In the name of our Creator God,
and Sustaining Spirit,
we pray, amen.
We invite you to hear from the Gospel of Luke 3: 7-16.
7 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him,
“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to
come? 8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance….
… 10 And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?”
11 In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share
with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.”
12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him,
“Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He said to them, “Collect no
more than the amount prescribed for you.”
14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?”
He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by
threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”
16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water;
but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy
to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with
the Holy Spirit and fire.
The Good News of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Amen.
Homily and Reflection
Reflect on the difference you feel when you say or do something out of obligation instead of a willingness in your heart?
What “programs for happiness” are you attached to? How do they keep you covered with a skin that is not your true self?
Hear this Vox,
The Lord your God is one.
He loves you with all of his
heart, soul, and strength.
He will illuminate his love for you
when you go out and when you stay home,
in your subconscious and conscious mind.
He will counsel your children.
His kingly ways are woven in your palms.
He has written his name on your forehead.
His mercy is painted over your doorstep
His voice will be your protection and direction.
Breathe deeply and know that you are one with him.
In the name of the One
beside you, behind you,
and in front of you,
go, and with you bring peace,
Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find belonging and community this week.
[Photo by Daniel Gregoire]