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Third Sunday of Advent; Isaiah 35:1-10; Luke 1:39-55 – So, friends, how are we all doing on that little matter of Christmas gifts? Lots of ideas for techy toys or books or clothes or food? Delighted with progress in purchases or distracted by other events? Feeling behind and stressed? Calendar days flying by, possibilities running dry? Tis the season, when we want the perfect gift—to please a longing heart and bring a smile to beloved family, friends, or colleagues… Inasmuch as gifts try to express our love and nurture relationships, they are a good and meaningful part of the season. Tis the season … when expectations can increase the fun and satisfaction or by contrast, the frustration and even sadness.
Second Sunday of Advent; Isaiah 11:1-10; Romans 15:4-13 – Friends, we cannot live without hope. It makes all the difference in how we observe our world, and how willingly, charitably we get to know and understand one another. It makes all the difference in situations we face, vitality we feel, choices we make. Different persons in similar circumstances—whether business success and honors achieved, or suffering amid such horrors as the Syrian war or concentration camps—different persons with similar challenges, abilities and opportunities will live in diverse even opposite ways, depending on whether there is hope or not.
The Rev. Dr. Seth E. Weeldreyer Sunday, November 13, 2016 Isaiah 65:17-25; Luke 6:20-36