Beginnings, and a Time to Be of Service

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, November 30, 2014

Advent one picture

Beginnings, and a Time to Be of Service

Yes, here we are at the end of November, the waning of the calendar year. Yet—here we are at the beginning of the liturgical year—the beginning of Advent.

I led the worship service today, highlighting the first Sunday of Advent. A Sunday of waiting. A Sunday when we look forward to Jesus returning for the second time. It is also traditionally a Sunday of hope.

Sure, when some people think of Advent, they want to get through it quickly! Let’s get to Christmas, already! Enough with this waiting, this time of preparation. Race ahead to the baby Jesus, being born in Bethlehem. Yet—our Scripture passages for the first Sunday in Advent do not tell us about that baby Jesus, and a warm, fluffy Christmas card picture. Instead, we are focusing on the hard stuff. On the fact that Jesus is coming again in power. On the sin, and unworthiness, and the fact that God takes us dirty, sinful, unclean people and cleans us up.

At our church today, we had a guest preacher, a student from one of the local bible colleges. Noah preached a sermon on one of the readings for the day, from Isaiah 64:1-9. He did a fine job at explaining the text. I built the whole service around that Scripture passage, lifting up various parts of the passage in the different hymns and prayers, besides the reading of the sermon text.

So, that was how I was of service today. In formatting the worship experience today, I hope I tied it together with a biblical bow—I kept ringing the changes of Isaiah 64, in different ways.

I earnestly tried to make a cohesive structure for our congregation. And, I was glad Noah helped me to lead in worship today. All in all, I did the best I could. Or to paraphrase the words of the prophet, from Isaiah 55:11, I provided a space for the Word of God to go forth. God, bless Your word. I pray that it accomplishes that for which You sent it forth. Amen!

@chaplaineliza

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Helping and Being Helped

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, November 29, 2014

SERVE find yourself in service to others

Helping and Being Helped

I helped out today. I got things ready at my church this afternoon, in preparation for the first Sunday of Advent, tomorrow. Changing of the colors—as the altar cloth, pulpit, and lectern hanging changed from green to purple. I prepared the advent wreath, too. It is so great to be in charge of my own services.

And, I bought several Christmas presents at two small stores in my suburb. (Yes, I support Small Store Saturday!) I am so glad the weather today was so beautiful. The smaller stores were crowded with a steady stream of shoppers, too.

Plus, I was helped this morning by my wonderful yoga class. I love getting regular exercise, and yoga is my current BFF. Truly, I do not know how I managed to go on from week to week without yoga. Such a multi-faceted way of exercise, stretching and general well-being.

So, two significant ways where I chose to help out. Another basic, foundational way where I allowed myself to be helped involved yoga.

Give and take, ebb and flow. You meet with me, and I’ll try to provide for what you are passionate about.

As I said, tomorrow is the beginning of the liturgical season of Advent. A time of waiting. A time of preparation, God be willing. Help me as I watch for signs of You and Your comingI Amen!

@chaplaineliza

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