A Sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent

By: David H. May, Rector

 

For about ten years, from my late teens to my late 20’s, I tried to make it as a professional actor.  When people find that out, one of the things they are most curious about is, ‘how do you learn all those lines?’  It’s actually not that hard.  Well, that’s not completely true.  Depending on the part, it can be pretty hard.  But you just have to do it.  That’s what rehearsal is for.  You have to get all those words and all the movement down pat so that once you open, you can repeat the performance over and over again.  And you have to repeat it exactly.  Any actor who thinks it’ll be a sign of artistic genius to ‘go off script’ and improvise and make up lines during a performance will find themselves replaced.  Of course, there’s room for artistic expression.  But there’s no room for changing your lines or leaving them out or making up your own.  You have to stay on script.

The only reason I bring this up is that while staying ‘on script’ works great for the theatre, it doesn’t work quite so well in real life, at least not eventually.  Here’s what I mean.  We all grow up in a cast of characters that includes – if we’re lucky – first our family and then our neighbors, kids in school, then characters in the town or city.  And as we grow up, we learn rules about the plot lines of the life we’re living, some history about where we come from and where we’re going and why; we learn about various heroes and villains; we get a moral sense of good and bad, things like that.  Most of us eventually have a pretty reliable script that we turn to to know our lines in any given situation.

And maybe most of the time the script we’re carrying around more or less works most of the time.  Until it doesn’t.

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A Sermon for Christ the King Sunday

By: Amelia McDaniel, Director of Children’s Ministries

 

I speak to you in the name of the Good Shepherd, the King of Love, whose goodness fails us never.

Today marks the end of our liturgical Church Year.  The last Sunday in the Season after Pentecost. I guess you could call today the church’s New Year’s Eve.

Next Sunday the new church year begins with the first Sunday of Advent, the time of preparing for the birth of Jesus.  And we will begin anew the ancient pattern of days, the circle of the Church Year. Following the way to Bethlehem during Advent.  Celebrating the Birth of the Jesus on Christmas. Remembering the stories of how he grows from a baby into a man throughout the stories of the season of Epiphany.  During Lent we turn again to preparing, but this time not for his birth but for his death. And then thankfully there is Easter to celebrate. And we do that until the day of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter.  The day we remember that Jesus did not leave us here high and dry but sent the Holy Spirit amongst us. And then we hit the LONG season of the Season after Pentecost. It is almost impossibly long.

Pentecost amounts to a whole lot of Sundays.  Like half the calendar year of them. It seems that someone had the wisdom to know that it would take us an incredibly long time to grow into the mysteries of Christmas and Easter.  This Sunday is the 27th Sunday after Pentecost.  For 27 Sundays in a row we have heard stories inviting us to grow into a bigger understanding of the Kingdom of God.

Today on this Church New Year’s Eve, it is not the baby Jesus we are remembering.  Today our readings are full of the story of Christ the King. The psalm portrays a King, a man with splendid apparel, mightier than the biggest breakers of the sea.

The Epistle has Jesus rolling in with the clouds. Our Alpha and Omega who is and was and who is to come.

Strength, power, dominion, glory.  This is the picture of the King these scriptures hold.

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