This fall has been a busy season for me. I’ve been grateful for the Sundays I’ve had a guest preacher or have found sustainable sermons to lean into. I can’t remember the last time I “created” a sermon completely from scratch. But as it turns out Advent 3B is one of those years when I don’t seem to have a single sermon to tap into. I have one or two that I have written and preached but neither take me where I want to go this year.
Some of reading in preparation for this sermon writing has taken me to Kathryn Matthews’ Sermon Seeds and her reflection on the RCL reading for Advent 3B on Isaiah. She aligns the challenge of the people in Isaiah with the challenges facing people today, from racism to economic security, to violence against women (verbal, physical, sexual, career, life opportunities), from the sorrow of a lost loved one to the grief of helplessness in all its forms. Matthew’s uses the imagery of Talitha Arnold, God transforms the seeds of sorrow into fruits of joy. God works through every human endeavor to bring forth peace and wholeness, no matter how small and insignificant that endeavor may seem, regardless of how partial it may be, each seed, each fruit, is a movement toward the whole.
Jesus, God’s love in human form, God’s love manifest in the world, reaches deep into the pain, grief, and injustices of the world to bring forth God’s vision of joy, hope, love, and peace. Jesus shows us how to do this, too.
I’m not sure at this point in time how I am going to engage the offerings of Matthew’s thought into my sermon this week, however I hear in them clear connecting points.
What about you? Are you working with the RCL or with the Narrative Lectionary? (For more on these readings check out Tuesday’s lectionary posts, one on each of these). For some of us this is the last Sunday of Advent, a short season this year because Christmas Eve falls on Sunday. How will you make the most of this day?
Pull up a chair, grab a mug, I have plenty of coffee and tea to get us through this day. We’re here to share ideas, help with concerns, hold each other in prayer, and ponder how the spirit is calling us to break open the word and feed God’s hungry people.
The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski is an Episcopal priest serving in Dearborn, MI. A member of the RevGalBlogPals and blogger since 2006, she blogs at seekingauthenticvoice.blogspot.com
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