Today is the third Sunday of Advent, and
we light the third candle of Advent for Joy.
Welcome to this shared space of awareness
and anticipation of how divine joy has come and is coming.
As you feel safe and comfortable,
you are invited to pause for a moment.
Allow your body to soften.
Allow your mind to find stillness.
Observe what happens naturally in your body with no effort at all.
Notice your body supporting you, your belly
slowly rising and falling with your breath.
Notice the sensations of touch, of sound,
of sight, of taste, and of smell.
Notice what is here now when the problem-solving mind rests,
when our expectations become more open, and
when our attachment to outcomes become less tight.
From this space of curiosity, awareness, and clarity,
may we turn our attention to how the Divine may be
gracefully disrupting our individual and collective
selves during this Advent, this season of expectation
of the Divine’s presence.
We pray in the name
of God, our Divine Parent,
Christ, our Divine Image,
and the Holy Spirit, our Divine Guide.
We invite you to hear from the Gospel of Matthew 11: 2-11.
2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”
4 Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with a skin disease are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. 6 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 What, then, did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. 9 What, then, did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11 “Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist, yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
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 are the glimpses of restoration around us in the midst of disappointment?
What are the uncomfortable truths that we’re invited to hear and engage?
Who are the invisible that we need to acknowledge and advocate for?
Let us leave with a benediction.
May we leave this space together
more aware of the sources of disappointment
May our individual and communal
questions broaden in scope.
May our attention to the margin of our
individual and collective lives sharpen.
May we reshape our perception of worth
for those too often given little to none
May we practice embodying more
curiosity, awareness and clarity
for the holy, disruptive, and
of the Divine in our midst.
Go forth in the name
of our Holy God,
Three in One,
Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find community and belonging this week.
[ Photo by Milo Weiler ]