2nd Sunday of Advent – Our Wilderness Journey Continues
Good morning dear Friends and People of 5th Ave. UMC
On this early Sunday morning, we continue our Advent Wilderness Journey – a place of miracles.
We began our “wilderness trip” last week around the campfire – a place where stories come alive and emotions intensify as we fear God’s absence, regret the wrongs we have done, and tremble in God’s presence.
As we gathered around the campfire, how do we know that God is here? Throughout biblical scriptures, the symbol of a fire reminds people that God is with them and all of these reminders gives us hope.
A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway (path) for our God.”
On this 2nd Sunday of Advent, a crooked path comes from last Sunday’s campfire – a shovel, rake, shears, broken tree limbs, rocks, leaves, and other debris covering the path indicates that this path is still under construction – still being made straight. What does it mean to build a straight path? Perhaps it indicates a path leading directly to peace and justice; a path where righteousness flourish and peace’s abound. What are the barriers that need to be cleared from the path?
Isaiah notes that God comes in might and yet gathers his lambs and leads us gently. There is strength and power in God’s gentleness. God’s compassion and comfort are not just for Jews and Christians, but for all people. In the face of a divided and broken society and of uncertainty and indifference, all shall see this homecoming together; united in this eternal vision of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 85 paints a picture of this Good News: love, “compassion” and faithfulness “truth” will meet; righteousness “justice” and peace “wholeness” will kiss. Karl Barth calls these divine attributes “divine perfections.” They each require the others and are “the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:12). When these four spiritual disciplines are found in our personal lives, families, churches, communities, and societies, God’s kin-dom will be at hand. The earth and all its creatures will be saved. Amen.
*** Our recorded worship services can be found at faumc.org ***
A loving and gentle reminder to please return your Stewardship As a Matter of Discipleship Pledge Card; only one stewardship pledge card needs to be returned. Your faithfulness and commitment is a marvelous blessing.
May you have a blessed Advent,
Pastor Clarissa & Bro. Martin
Rev. Clarissa Martinelli
Pastor, Fifth Avenue UMC
323 South Fifth Avenue
West Bend, WI
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. I am a child of God.” marianne williamison