This morning, we light the 4th and final candle of Advent
to remember our Savior, Immanuel, who is with us this season.
God of the meek and simple,
Strip away the complexity we create for ourselves.
Free us from the sacrifices we believe we should make,
and turn our hearts and minds toward what you truly ask of us –
To walk in your will, to follow in your ways.
As you chose this world as the place of your birth,
Let us choose this as the place of our rebirth.
Rebuild us, transform our hearts, make us anew.
We pray and gather today
in the name
of God, our loving Creator,
Christ, our awaited Savior,
and the Holy Spirit, our breath of life.
We invite you to hear from the reading of Hebrews 10: 5-10.
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body
First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings
and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you
pleased with them”—though they were offered in
accordance with the law.
Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.”
He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by
that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice
of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
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
What forms of sacrifice still tempt you today?
Where are you learning to distinguish between the artificial and the real?
How are you being “made holy” through embodied trust?
When the heavens became full of God’s abundant love,
He poured out the gift of his embodied self.
She relinquished the beauty of the heavens
to adorn our earth.
They entered this world, a place of need and scarcity,
and it overflowed with the abundance of their being.
Vox, this week, may we rejoice in the areas of our lives
where God has come to dwell.
May we labor in the places where Christ is being born,
and may our hope be kindled everywhere the Spirit has yet to enter.
We pray in the name
of Emmanuel, God with us.
Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find belonging and community this week.
[Photo by chris robert]