Worship at Home for Sunday, November 28, 2021

 

 

Dear Friends,

The first Sunday of Advent will be on November 28. The old church hear has ended and we have begun anew with the waiting and hoping that comes with Advent. Now is the time of delicious anticipation of the joy of Christmas. Let us wait and hope together!
 

Announcements:

  • Sunday School after worship with decorating for Advent.
  • Bell Choir on Wednesday at 4:15pm & Choir Practice at 6:30
  • Advent Tea on Saturday, December 4 with reservations still available for 2pm.
    Please call the church office with your reservations.
  • Christmas Cantata on Sunday, December 5 at 3pm
  • Christmas Cookie Sale will be on Saturday, December 11 from 9am until sold out.
  • The Youth will meet on Sunday, December 12 to shop for their adopted families and practice the Christmas Eve program.
  • Sign up for Salvation Army Bell Ringing on Friday, December 17 or Saturday, December 18.

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture Lessons: Jeremiah 33:14-16, Psalm 25:1-10, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Luke 21:25-36
 

Podcast Version 

 

Sermon:       Waiting        

Advent is a season of waiting, watching, wanting, and wondering for the arrival of Jesus. It is a season of hope, love, joy, and peace as we light the Advent Candles to mark the Sundays in anticipation of Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is so mystical is the majestic high point of the faithful Christians Advent journey.

That journey begins with lighting that first Advent candle of hope as we wait. The word qavah in Hebrew can be translated as wait or hope. In Psalm 25 the word appears as wait in the New Revised Standard Version, but as hope in the New International Version. (I will be reading from Psalm 25:1-10 for the Pastoral Prayer on Sunday.) This word can also be translated as expect, gather together, look, patiently, and tarry. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible)

Waiting is not a completely passive activity though it is one that relies on patience. While we wait, we often gather tools, supplies and information about what we are anticipating.

What can we gather from Sunday’s lectionary readings? If we look at the Luke 21:25-36 reading, we may gather feelings of fear and distress. Verses 25-26 are ones of terror for the nations of this world are in anguish and perplexity. If you had never been to church before, these verses might scare you from ever returning. Gloom and doom and destruction, where is the hope? The hope comes with the reference of the vision from Daniel when the Son of Man coms in a cloud of power and glory. The hope is that God is with us, and that Jesus is coming. There will be better times if we can just keep waiting and hoping.

I am writing this mailing the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. My thoughts are alternating between turkey and pumpkin pies and all the activities that happen at St. Peter’s in the weeks that follow the Totenfest and the Turkey Supper. (Just look at the announcements to get an idea of all that is happening.) Last week was Totenfest when we remember the end of this earthly life for those who died during the past church year. The first Sunday of Advent ushers in the waiting for new life in the birth of Jesus. The events are start and finish of the oval track which is the church year.

The Lukan text for the first Sunday of Advent quotes part of the Daniel text from the last Sunday of the Church year and gives us a belt buckle and belt loop connection for the end and the beginning. When we read of the end times in Luke’s Gospel, we are given hope with the vision of Jesus among the heavens. Next week the text will return to the anticipation of Jesus arrival so that we can connect heavenly Christ who arrives in our world as a child.

It is like when the autumn leaves fall and the plants of spring and summer wither, we put on our warm clothes, turn on the furnace and wait for spring. Life does not return with an explosion of fully grown plants and flowers, but with small seedlings and buds springing up from the ground. So do the stories of end times return us to the hope of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Endings bring new beginnings for those who wait in hope.

For a person who has never seen barren trees and the cold winds of autumn, it may seem like the end of times. Cold weather, long dark nights and snow fall may cause depression and fear. So, we light candles of hope and warmth while waiting for brighter days.

The person who has never experienced winter might be frightened. Or they might experience joy at seeing snow! One Thanksgiving my mother gave rides to international students from Eden Seminary to my home for a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. It was snowing that day. The students from Kenya and Tanzania were so excited to see snow that they were laughing and making snowballs in joy. Sally made a snowball and brought it with her in the car, because she wanted to share it with me. My mother explained that the snow would melt in the car, but there would be snow at my house too. She left the snowball behind replaced with the hope of snow at her destination.
Advent is like that too. We experience moments of joy, but these moments of joy are for the moment and melt away like snowballs. The good news is that there will be more snow when we arrive at our destination. When the world seems like it is ending, keep on waiting and hoping as we journey through Advent knowing that there will be the joy when we arrive in Bethlehem.

Prayer:  For our prayer this week, take time read Psalm 25 as a prayer:
 

Psalm 25 of David from the New International Version

1 In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.

2 I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.

3 No one who hopes/waits in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.

4 Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.

5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,
and my hope/my waiting is in you all day long.

6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.

7 Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways;

according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.

8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.

9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful

    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list in the past and Elizabeth, Cheryl, Peggy, Mindy.

Prayers for the family and friends of Henry Havelka, especially for his parents to Kristopher and Kelsey (Crabb) Havelka.

The friends and family of Virginia LeClaire who passed from this life on Sunday, November 21.
The friends and family of Hal Hengstenberg who passed away from this life.

 

 

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