Thursday, November 29, 2007

God among Us discussion 02

Advent 1: Historical Witness – Creation and Prophets

Advent 2: Historical Witness – Jesus Christ

Advent 3: Liturgy, Word, Sacrament

Advent 4: Contemporary Witness – us and our neighbors


Abram/Abraham was an Ivri, a Hebrew, one from the other side. In Jesus we meet the God from the very other side. Abraham, Jesus, us—from the other side of the dominant social and economic culture of consumerism, exorbitant consumption and self-aggrandizement (among other things)?!

2 Samuel 7:5-6 "I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling."

John 1:14 And the word became flesh and tabernacled, pitched a tent among us...

Revised Common Lectionary, Christ the King year C: Luke 22:23-27 …the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. …I am among you as one who serves.

RCL year C, Christ the King: Jeremiah 23:1-6 …the days are surely coming…a righteous branch, justice and righteousness…


During the darkest, shortest days of the year, we anticipate the God of justice, mercy, compassion and common-wealth arriving incarnate in our midst in Jesus of Nazareth, to continue reshaping and renewing us into the divine image. Consider: what changes to the world and to us does God's incarnation in Jesus bring? Consider: Jesus' journey from the Bethlehem manger to the Calvary cross to Easter to reigning over all creation. Consider: God loves and saves us freely by grace and without reservation, so what's all the talk about works and deeds and doings, especially in the Christmas texts? Consider: How we can become mangers? Martin Luther refers to the bible as "the cradle in which Christ is laid" – a container to keep the free and elusive Word safe?

The liturgical color for Advent has changed from penitential purple to blue, a color that symbolizes hope. How about the talk of repentance and judgment? Penitence or hope?

Acts 1:1-8 …they asked him, "Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?" He replied… "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

RCL Advent 2A: Isaiah 11:1-10 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him…with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth…

RCL Advent 2A: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice. …May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.

RCL Advent 2A: Matthew 3:1-12 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

Advent 3 – Gaudete—rejoice! the introit began with Philippians 4:4-6

Advent 3 continues announcing and anticipating God arriving into our midst with a subversive (in terms of the status quo) rule of justice for all creation, a reign of shalom. Yet this ruler first appears on earth in the vulnerability and humility of the Bethlehem manger. Countercultural? Consider: the King who reigns from a cross. Opulence and glory? Advent 3 features Mary’s Magnificat and also emphasizes the redemption, wholeness and integrity of all creation.

Check out these parallels:
1 Samuel 1: 24 When she had weaned him …[Hannah] brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh…

Luke 2: 22-27 Mary presents Jesus to the Lord at the temple in Jerusalem.

1 Samuel 2:1-10 Hannah prayed and said, "My heart exults in the Lord…Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil."

Luke 1:46-55 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior … He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty."

Cool stuff: Luke includes four canticles in his gospel: Mary's Magnificat in 1:47-55; Zechariah's Benedictus in 1: 67-79; the angels’ Gloria in Excelsis in 2: 13-14; and Simeon's Nunc Dimittis in 2:28-32. Similar in form and content to the Hallel Psalms, they reverberate with Israel’s salvation history as they celebrate God's life-transforming reversals in the lives of Mary and her contemporaries—and now in our lives and world. Luke-Acts' particular emphasis, focus and passion?! Advent's persistent theme?

RCL Advent 3A: Isaiah 35:1-10 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom… Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened… waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert…

RCL Advent 3A: Psalm 146:5-10 whose hope is in the Lord their God …who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free…watches over the strangers...(this is the appointed psalm, but the church typically uses the Magnificat for the 2nd reading.)

RCL Advent 3A: Matthew 11:2-11 "Are you the one who is to come?" "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk...and the poor have good news brought to them..."

Christmas texts

Christmas Eve: Titus 2:11-14 Grace has appeared… to redeem us as a people -zealous for good deeds!

Christmas Dawn: Titus 3:4-7 Goodness and loving kindness of God appeared... justified by his grace…not because of works, despite redeeming us as people zealous for good deeds!

Christmas Eve: Luke 2:1-14 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered ... And she gave birth to her firstborn son and...laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Christmas Eve and Dawn: Luke 2:8-20 In that region; night; angel = messenger, "Be not afraid!" sign: child in the manger. The Lord has made known to us – revelation...

© leah chang 2007

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Great work here. I wish I had a place to preach.
    Anyhow, you really did soem good stuff and i will save it.
    Also, yeah, fried okra is my fav, but I also like it in soup (just toamteos and okra) and a cafeteria lady wher i taught once made the best-est pickled okra. I could have easily ate a jar in one setting.
    Blessings and many thanks


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