Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blogging toward Sunday

via Google Images

This Sunday we continue our journey through Advent by considering a "Theology of Time." In preparation for worship, take some time to sit quietly for a while with the following Scripture readings: Genesis 1:1-5, Exodus 3:14-15, and Matthew 11:2-11. Then reflect on these questions:
  1. What kind of relationship do I have with time?
  2. How do I use it?
  3. Whose is it?
  4. How often do I consult God before planning the hour, the day, the week, the year?
A prayer written by Fiona Bennett entitled "The hope of the Seed" speaks to "time" in a special way. May her words be a blessing for you this week.

The hope of the Seed
            In this waiting time, creating Spirit,
            we give you thanks for the new life,
            the new world which rose up
            from the Seed which died.

            We thank you for the hope of the Seed.
We take encouragement that over many years
the life of the Seed has spread,
wending its way across the earth;
flourishing where it finds welcomed space;
bringing new life wherever it finds root.

Help us to be good gardeners;
to recognize Christ’s Seed wherever it grows;
to learn how best to care for the Seed;
to work hard with patience, endurance and faith
throughout the seasons;
to experience the pleasure, challenge and delight
of the gardener
as we nurture Christ’s greening of the whole earth. 

As always, I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Blogging toward Sunday

I hope you will join us for worship this Sunday when the CHPC Choir presents "Breath of Heaven." In the meantime, as your journey through Advent, one question and two tasks are before you. First, during the week, meditate on how the God-given gift of music enriches your life during Christmas and throughout the year. Then, I hope you will enjoy two musical treats. The first is a video a young friend shared with me recently. It is truly amazing. The second video is "Hallelujah Chorus" presented in an original and powerful way. Enjoy!

May the Lord bless you and the people whom you love during the Seasons of Advent & Christmas.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Blogging toward Sunday

via Google Images

The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." The season provides a time of celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and a time of anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Therefore, Advent is more than a historical marker of something that took place 2000 years ago. It’s a time frame with a double focus—both past and future. Advent also has a present focus—symbolizing the spiritual journey of persons and congregations, who yearn to live holy lives during these “in between times.”

On our journey through Advent this year, we will consider how we live out “time” as we wait. In preparation for Sunday, read Genesis 1:1-5, Exodus 3:14-15, and Matthew 11:2-11. Then join us for worship as we ponder a theology of time and the importance of living spiritually, in the present tense. 

May the following prayer written by John Bell bless you on your Advent journey.

You keep us waiting.
You, the God of all time,
want  us to wait
for the right time in which to discover
who we are, where we are to go,
who will be with us, and what we must do.
So thank you…for the waiting time.

You keep us looking.
You, the God of all space,
want us to look in the right and wrong places
for signs of hope,
for people who are hopeless,
for visions of a better world which will appear
among the disappointments of the world we know.
So thank you…for the looking time.

You keep us loving.
You, the God whose name is love,
want us to be like you—
to love the loveless and the unlovely and the unloveable;
and, most difficult of all,
to love ourselves.
So thank you…for the loving time.

And in all this,
you keep us.
Through hard questions with no easy answers;
through failing where we hoped to succeed
and making an impact where we felt we were useless;
through the patience and the dreams and the love of others;
and through Jesus Christ and his Spirit,
you keep us.
So thank you…for the keeping time,
and for now,
and for ever,

I look forward to our time of worship this Sunday.