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The Chalice
Thursday, December 12 2019

Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help!
whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them;
who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,
and food to those who hunger.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
the Lord cares for the stranger;
he sustains the orphan and widow,
but frustrates the way of the wicked (Psalm 146:4-8).

On this third Sunday in Advent let us rejoice that we have been part of God's inbreaking Kingdom. Let us rejoice that the Holy Spirit is with us right here and now and that Jesus Christ is coming again in great majesty. Let us not think of the coming of Jesus Christ as some kind of a birthday or celebrating of a onetime event. Let us see, hear, and feel that Jesus Christ is coming into our hearts that we might follow the will and purpose of God. 

There is a wonderful energy at St. John's right now. So far in Advent, we provided resources and companionship at Laundry Love, gave out food cards to the needy, sent over 100 shoe boxes all over the world with Samaritan’s Purse,  fed and sheltered the homeless at HiHi, brought gifts for the ECW Adopt-a-Family program, made hundreds of Christmas wreaths, and received large donations from the ECW, Breakfast Group, and the Thrift Shop. Fr. Anthony Jones and our Spirituality Group led a Quiet Day, Fr. John and Claire helped me with the Advent program on Tuesday nights, we completed our Bible Study with The Path, we prayed Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, we had Children's Chapel for our Nursery School, we visited shut-ins, and today we will decorate the church after the 10:00 service and complete another successful stewardship campaign. Tonight we will enjoy our Sing Noël! concert at 7:30 pm.

We prepare our hearts to receive the incarnate love of Jesus Christ so that we may be the hands and feet of God's love in the world. This week's collect reminds us that we are sorely hindered by our sins. We have the potential to bump into each other in our busyness. We have the potential to be on our plan instead of God's plan. We forget that this season can be very painful for many. I ask you all to be extra generous and kind to one another in the coming week and a half before Christmas. We have suffered the loss of several family members and we need the love and mercy of God. Please take a few days to rest and gather the ones you love together. God's wonderful Kingdom will be ushered in a poor manger on a quiet evening. All the preparations that we do are important, but we cannot miss the whole point of the season in our busyness. God loves us unconditionally and so deeply that despite our sins, God can bring this world to peace, hope, love, and joy through the incarnation of a little baby on Christmas again and again.

In Christ's love,

Fr. Duncan

Isaiah 35:1-10

James 5:7-10

Matthew 11:2-11

Psalm 146:4-9

Posted by: Rev. Duncan A. Burns AT 09:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email