Its that busy time of year again:
December 9th Second Sunday of Advent; Congregational Meeting immediately after church to elect two members for the Congregational Nominations Committee
December 12th. Session Meeting 5:00pm
December 19th 7:00pm Blue Christmas Service
December 20th 5:30pm Host Newkirk Public schools “Love and Logic” parenting classes with dinner
December 24th 7:00pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion
January 6th: Epiphany and 125th Anniversary Celebration. (Rev. Everett Miller to Preach)
First Reading Jeremiah 33:14-16
Second Reading 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Gospel Reading Luke 21:25-36
Sermon “Hope Filled Waiting”
I was struggling to come up with a good illustration for waiting in hope this week. I looked at various resources in my library and on the internet. I found a lot of good things, but none exactly what I was looking for. Then I belatedly realized an ideal illustration was snoring at my feet. Yep, my dog Taffy. You see, it was getting close to 4:00pm, when a snoozing dog’s attention begins to fix on two things – an afternoon walk in the nearby park and of course dinner to follow! It doesn’t matter that some days we don’t go, whether because I’m busy or the weather is poor, or just plain too lazy. She makes it very clear that she is quite hopeful and eager about it.
When the afternoon is starting to dim, the formerly sleeping dog stirs, and begins to get active. Often she will come over to my chair and sit quietly – just staring at me. If that doesn’t seem to work she starts to whine and pace around – sometimes she just stands right in front and gives one soft bark. If I tell her no, not yet, she will usually settle down, but if I stand up and get my coat, Oh boy! She knows the signs and she is ready to go. Every day – same routine, sometimes successful, sometimes not, but always hopeful, and about a half an hour early. She never gives up.
This is the first Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday of the Christian liturgical year. On this first of 4 Sunday’s before Christmas, we focus on Hope and it’s close cousin – expectant waiting. It is said that “Human beings can live for forty days without food, four days without water, and four minutes without air. But we cannot live for four seconds without hope.”…. for more thoughts on this, see the sermon page.