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Upcoming Events
SEP

19

WED
Lunch with Maryellen
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Sunday School Classroom
Disciples Bible Study
2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Sunday School Classroom
Haiti Team Meeting
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Sunday School Classroom
SEP

20

THU
Staff Meeting
1:15 PM to 2:15 PM
Sunday School Classroom
Vestry Meeting
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Sunday School Classroom
Alanon Meeting
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
St. Augustine Church - Sanctuary
SEP

21

FRI
Friday Noonday Prayer and Contemplation
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Sanctuary
SEP

22

SAT
Kairos Advisory Council Meeting
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Sunday School Classroom
FISH Lock-in
6:00 PM to 8:00 AM
SEP

23

SUN
Worship Service
8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
This is a simple communion service without music, using Rite II.
Sunday School
9:50 AM to 10:40 AM
Nursery, toddler and elementary children meet each Sunday from 10 to 10:40 a.m. in Classroom 1.
Worship Service
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
This is a full Rite II service with communion and music.
FISH Parent Luncheon
11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
FISH Lock-in
6:00 PM to 8:00 AM
FISH Youth Group Meeting
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
SEP

24

MON
Evening Centering Prayer
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Sanctuary
SEP

25

TUE
Journey Through Time - Grief Class
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Home of Alice and Peggy Doye
Short Stories by Jesus
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday School Classroom
Short Stories by Jesus
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Sunday School Classroom
SEP

26

WED
Disciples Bible Study
2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Sunday School Classroom
SEP

27

THU
Alanon Meeting
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
St. Augustine Church - Sanctuary
SEP

28

FRI
Friday Noonday Prayer and Contemplation
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Sanctuary
SEP

29

SAT
SEP

30

SUN
Worship Service
8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
This is a simple communion service without music, using Rite II.
Sunday School
9:50 AM to 10:40 AM
Nursery, toddler and elementary children meet each Sunday from 10 to 10:40 a.m. in Classroom 1.
Worship Service
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
This is a full Rite II service with communion and music.
FISH Youth Group Meeting
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
OCT

01

MON
Evening Centering Prayer
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Sanctuary
OCT

02

TUE
Journey Through Time - Grief Class
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Home of Alice and Peggy Doye
Short Stories by Jesus
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday School Classroom
Short Stories by Jesus
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Sunday School Classroom
OCT

03

WED
Disciples Bible Study
2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Sunday School Classroom
OCT

04

THU
Staff Meeting
1:15 PM to 2:15 PM
Sunday School Classroom
Alanon Meeting
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
St. Augustine Church - Sanctuary
Bible Search
November 27,2011

Advent 1 Year B 11-27-11

Isaiah 64:1-9; Ps. 80:1-7,16-18; 1 Cor.1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37

 

So we’re already to Advent this year.

 

The it’s-almost-Christmas season.

 

We can hear ourselves saying the same old things.

 

What I call OP talk…Old People talk...I do it.

 

The Christmas decorations were up before Halloween was over this year.

 

Black Friday started on Wednesday this year.

 

They’re playing Christmas carols 24/7 already.

 

What’s this world coming to?

 

That’s OP talk…you’ve done it, you know you have.

 

So try to turn down the volume on that chatter for the moment.

 

Let’s tune into what Advent is saying to us.

 

You know the church does this seasons thing for a reason.

 

Which is basically that as humans we are so leaky.

 

We keep forgetting all the good stuff  God is telling us.

 

I don’t care if you’re 5 years old, 50, or 85 years old.

 

We are all leaking all the time.

 

We need to be reminded of how God sees life and how God would like us to be seeing life.

 

Because we get caught up in things like shopping plans, meal plans, baking plans, traveling plans, visitor plans, decorating plans, what I want plans.

 

Ok, maybe the girls and women get more caught up in most of that.

 

And maybe some of the men are in the mode of how do I stay out of the vortex of all the plansbeing made around me.

 

Familiar anyone?

 

The truth is, at just the moment that Advent arrives in our church year…

 

Most families are cranking up for some of the most crazy making expectations and plan making known to humanity.

 

Just at the moment that our readings and our prayers are pointing us to the baby Jesus we’re getting all in a twist over having the perfect gift for Aunt Susie who is impossible to buy for and having the house look just right.

 

Step back, take a deep breath, let it out.

 

Listen to what the Bible is trying to help us hear.

 

Today’s question may not seem like much of a comfort…Are you ready?

 

Are you crazy?  No we’re not ready.

 

 The to-do list is still a mile long.

 

But wait…are you ready for Jesus?

 

And today’s readings aren’t asking us if we’re ready for the sweet, little baby Jesus.

 

Oh, no.

 

Are you ready to stand blameless before Jesus on that final day?

 

Will you be asleep when the master of the house comes?

 

Because it might be this evening, or at midnight, or at dawn…you don’t know when.

 

Despite all of Harold Campings predictions…we don’t know when that final day will be.

 

And it seems pretty clear that there’s a judgment thing that’s going on.

 

Are you ready for that?

 

Here’s what I want.

 

I want Advent to be just about waiting for the baby Jesus to come and sleep in a manger and then grow up and be my savior.

 

The whole Jesus coming to judge us thing is not so warm and fuzzy.

 

 And there we have it.

 

Advent is our reminder that life is about both mercy and justice.

 

We don’t get to have one without the other.

 

God’s love comes to us as mercy… as a little human baby.

 

God’s justice comes to us suddenly, when we least expect it.

 

There’s isn’t a 2 minute warning.

 

We aren’t going to get the heads up that it’s time to wake up and start living life the way we know we should be.

 

All those things that people keep thinking are the signs that the end is near…

 

Wars, earthquakes, floods famine, religious craziness.

 

Those aren’t signs of the end.

 

Those are just signs that nature is in motion and that human beings are up to their normal shenanigans.

 

That stuff has been around since day one.

 

Mercy and justice.

 

Those are the bookends of what Jesus has come to be in our midst.

 

God’s love comes to earth as one of us, a baby, and mercy comes to life.

 

God’s justice lurks just around the corner as the baby all grown up.

 

Jesus, the one who chooses to suffer and to give up his life in order to set things back right again.

 

There is our justice.

 

Here’s one of the problems.

 

We like the sound of mercy, because it lets us off the hook, right?

 

Mercy is God’s solution to our BIG problem.

 

The problem of being broken and far from God and not knowing how to make that right again.

 

Mercy looks good, like a sweet baby.

 

End of story.

 

Except it’s not the end of the story.

 

Here comes justice.

 

All that judgment stuff we heard today.

 

That final day, that moment when stars are falling from heaven and the moon goes dark.

 

That moment when the question is, “are you blameless?”

 

Theoretically we may get that the power of Jesus and the cross is the answer to that question.

 

In reality we may not be so sure how it is that we can be blameless.

 

After all, it only takes a quick rundown of last week, yesterday, the ride in the car on the way to church to raise some serious doubts.

 

I don’t know about you.

 

But I’m falling short of what I know God is asking me to be all the time.

 

My daily commute time alone unleashes some pretty sketchy behavior.

 

You commuters know what I’m talking about.

 

And you kids who drive with your parents or grandparents see firsthand some pretty sketchy behavior.

 

What would justice look like to us?

 

Ah, you see, we’re all too ready to dispense our own brand of justice.

 

So we should be worried.

 

We want people to pay for their mistakes, their bad choices, their stupidity.

 

Or at least we think we do.

 

So we might find ourselves less than enthusiastic about this week’s Jesus.

 

The one coming in a cloud with justice in his hands.

 

It’s OK.

 

Judgment and justice truly are in God’s hands.

 

Thankfully.

 

We don’t get the “justice” we deserve.

 

Here we are back to the Advent thing…mercy and justice.

 

Connected by a strand of love that can never be broken.

 

Can you see that strand?

 

You see, God’s way, God’s economy is so different from the human way.

 

With God there is no true justice without mercy.

 

And there is no true mercy without justice.

 

What does mercy look like?

 

A baby.

 

Sweet, innocent, pure love.

 

What does justice look like?

 

A baby all grown up.

 

A man willing to take on death in order to make all our brokenness right again.

 

We don’t have to worry about when justice will come because mercy has already come.

 

That’s good news.

 

One little catch.

 

That doesn’t mean we should gallivant our way through life doing whatever we want no matter what.

 

Jesus tells us something different.

 

Stay awake.

 

Don’t miss the moment.

 

How you live your life matters.

 

So stay awake.

 

The baby Jesus is coming…mercy lying in a manger.

 

And justice is just around the corner.

 

Stay awake.

 

Hold out your hands for the mercy being offered.

 

We don’t have to live our lives in fear.

 

We just have to stay awake.

 

Mercy and justice are coming.

 

Jesus is coming.

 

 

 

 

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