The Christmas story is a story perhaps best understood by rural people in a rural culture! Special thanks to Danica and Kianna for providing flute and trumpet for Away in a Manger.
Adolescence is a tough time. Was there someone with a lot of love for you to help get you through those years? This sermon is a reflection on some lovely stories of just that. In scripture Joseph answers the call to be there for Jesus, and I share another story I heard from an interview with Patrick Haggerty on how wisdom from his Farmer Father, told to him while an adolescent, inspired him to write the first country album with openly gay lyrics. And after attending a youth service this past week, I was inspired to hear loudly and clearly, that young people need adults and faith just as much as they ever have. (refrence: Matthew 1:18–25 and CBC Radio Q interview with Patrick Haggerty by Tom Powers - http://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/schedule-for-tuesday-december-13-2016-1.3892200/patrick-haggerty-finds-new-hope-in-the-re-release-of-his-groundbreaking-album-1.3892255)
Experiencing joy and sustaining it can be a lot like going for a jog. If you have to stop and tie your shoe, you can really lose your groove. In today's gospel reading Jesus' shows us that we can lose that groove in the joy of our faith too. His message explains how to get over the hump that sometimes happens in our lives and our lives of faith. Happy Advent to you on this Advent Sunday of Joy! (Matthew 11: 2-11)
It is the Advent Sunday of Peace. Christmas can be stressful and have it's share of worry! Presents, party preparations, having family over! Is your Christmas wish to let go of all the stress that comes with certain parts of Christmas? St. Francis of Assisi became a master of letting go of stress and talk his Franciscan order how to do likewise. His way or letting go of worry found Peace, and he discovered that finding Peace was just the beginning of something much more beautiful! (references: Richard Rhor's The Art of Letting Go: Living the Wisdom of St. Francis and Matthew 3: 1-12 - John the Baptist in the wilderness)
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