Galileo Church: Advent/ Christmas
December 2 through December 30, 2018
Advent/Christmas Series: Hey, Jesus, what did you get me?
It’s the season for gift-giving and gift-receiving. What are the gifts we have been given, particularly in this season of remembering again the world’s deep need for a Rescuer?
December 2, the First Sunday of Advent: Luke 21:25-36; Jeremiah 33:10-16
The Gift of Hope. Here is Jesus’s annual admonition to “stay woke.” Christian faith is not about being lulled to sleep by soft promises like “God is in God’s heaven and all is right with the world.” Rather, believers are the awake ones, the ones who can see how broken it is; and we are the ones who hope always for the repair of it. Beware religion that dulls and lulls… Or secular alarmism that blurs your vision against hope in the Lord.
December 9, the Second Sunday of Advent: Luke 3:1-18; Malachi 3:1-4
The Gift of Refinement. John says Jesus comes with fire… fire for purification, refinement, the burning away of dross/chaff/good-old-words-like-that. The faith Jesus requires and inspires is examined, clarified, trimmed down, cleaned up. Get all the garbage out/off. What you’re left with is smaller, somehow less, but really so much more than you had when you believed all of it unquestioningly.
December 16, the Third Sunday of Advent: Luke 1:39-45, 56-66; Zephaniah 3:14-20
The Gift of Purpose. Everybody has to find theirs, but most everybody gets help. Mary has Elizabeth. John has Zechariah. (Both older people, btw, helping youngsters figure out what to do and how to feel about it.) God has in mind the restoration of human beings to the fullness of life for the sake of fulfilling God’s own purposes in this world. What’s yours?
December 23, the Fourth Sunday of Advent: Luke 2:1-20; Isaiah 52:7-10
The Gift of Insignificance. The shepherds, the runner who comes with good news – these are the witnesses to God’s miraculous interventions in the world. We recognize here God’s preferential option for the poor and marginalized, even while the Empire whirs through its business, thinking they are the ones whose decision-making matters.
December 24, Christmas Eve: Isaiah 9:2-7; Isaiah 52:7-10; Isaiah 62:1-4
The Gift of Christ. Well, duh.
December 30, the First Sunday After Christmas: Luke 2:41-52; Colossians 3:1-17
The Gift of Trajectory. This singular story from the middle of Jesus’s young life shows a rude and inconsiderate child, and a wondering mother who wants to know more. We know that they will both grow in their understanding and treatment of one another. (Thank God nobody’s relationship with their mom is frozen on the day they were 12 years old!) In the same way, our lives are meant to be on a trajectory – from broken to better, from sickness to health, from immaturity to so-much-less-immature. I’m glad to be on the trajectory with you…