Scripture - Isaiah 35:1-10, Luke 1:39-56
Isaiah 35:1-10 (The Message) -- The heading is “The Voiceless Break into Song”
1-2 Wilderness and desert will sing joyously,
the badlands will celebrate and flower--
Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom,
a symphony of song and color.
Mountain glories of Lebanon—a gift.
Awesome Carmel, stunning Sharon—gifts.
God’s resplendent glory, fully on display.
God awesome, God majestic.
Energize the limp hands,
strengthen the rubbery knees.
Tell fearful souls,
“Courage! Take heart!
God is here, right here,
on his way to put things right
And redress all wrongs.
He’s on his way! He’ll save you!”
Blind eyes will be opened,
deaf ears unstopped,
Lame men and women will leap like deer,
the voiceless break into song.
Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness,
streams flow in the desert.
Hot sands will become a cool oasis,
thirsty ground a splashing fountain.
Even lowly jackals will have water to drink,
and barren grasslands flourish richly.
There will be a highway
called the Holy Road.
No one rude or rebellious
is permitted on this road.
It’s for God’s people exclusively--
impossible to get lost on this road.
Not even fools can get lost on it.
No lions on this road,
no dangerous wild animals--
Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening.
Only the redeemed will walk on it.
The people God has ransomed
will come back on this road.
They’ll sing as they make their way home to Zion,
unfading halos of joy encircling their heads,
Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness
as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.
Luke 1:39-56 (The Message)
39-45 Mary didn’t waste a minute. She got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah’s house, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly,
You’re so blessed among women,
and the babe in your womb, also blessed!
And why am I so blessed that
the mother of my Lord visits me?
The moment the sound of your
greeting entered my ears,
The babe in my womb
skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.
Blessed woman, who believed what God said,
believed every word would come true!
46-55 And Mary said,
I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened--
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what he promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now.
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months and then went back to her own home.
One: The Word of Life. All: Thanks be to God.
What makes space sacred?
One of my favorite questions to ask people who I meet here on the island is what their connection is to Chebeague. Why have they chosen to live or summer or vacation here. There’s a whole range of responses I get - grew up here, friends or family lives here, the idea of living on an island seemed interesting, there was a place available when I was looking for a seasonal home; there’s a huge range. But there are two threads that often come up as people share with me what drew them to this place - one is connection; that there is something special about the people or the land that speaks to them and that’s why they stay….and secondly that they felt like this was a place that could offer them healing…that somehow, living here after whatever difficult situation in their life brought them to these shores would bring restoration...wholeness...healing.
This week we’re talking about sacred space - and I think there’s metaphorical and literal meanings in that. We heard read aloud today this joyous meeting of Elizabeth and Mary - two women whose pregnancies create space for joy to enter and transform our world. They carry this with them physically with their pregnancies; they actually make space within themselves as John the Baptist and Jesus grow within them -- and they make space with their lives. They share this moment together when Mary and Elizabeth meet and Mary bursts into this song of joy - known as the Magnificat. It’s a song that sets the framework - creates the space and tone - of Jesus’s ministry, of this transforming work that God will be about in the world.
Mary’s song - and our reading from Isaiah - are full of freedom and grace. Courage for fearful souls. Energy and strength for the weak. A banquet for the hungry. Nourishing water for the parched. Clear sight and opened ears for the blind and deaf. Mercy from God. Being remembered by God. Protection from evil, gifts of joy and justice. This is the work that God is about - this is Jesus out in the world, preaching and healing and revealing God’s kingdom - humbling the powerful and humanizing the invisible - creating a space in this world for God’s hope to enter in.
Creating sacred space here on earth.
Several weeks ago, Allen Ewing-Merrill was here to preach - and he talked for a moment about the Lord’s Prayer. He mentioned how so often we all say it the same way with breaks at the same point every time. I have no idea how or where that started but you can go to just about any church setting and it will be said the same way. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. But that’s not how the sentence reads. The sentence reads, Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Thy will be done on earth. Sacred space here and now. God’s kingdom here...just as it is in heaven.
Think for a moment about the different spaces you inhabit...home...workplaces...community spaces...church...are those spaces feeding and nurturing the freedom and grace that we heard from these passages this morning? Are they places that point to God’s transforming work? Are they sacred...or do they have the potential to become so? What can we do to support the unfolding of God’s kingdom in those places?
I want to share a little story about this from this past week, to show that making sacred space doesn’t have to be a grandiose venture; sometimes it’s as small as a shift in attitude or in intention.
Michael had a bit of - something - at the beginning of the week. Low grade fever, congestion, tired - nothing terribly alarming but also clearly he wasn’t feeling his usual self. Tuesday was the worst of it - he was clingy, sad and miserable, and all of us in the household were a bit worn out and dragging that day. Normally in our household division of labor, Tuesday is my day to work and Ben’s day with the kids. But Ben also needed a bit of a break because even though he’s feeling better with his chronic illness, his health isn’t something we muck about with. So I gladly stepped in when he needed to take a breather, figuring that Michael would hang out on the couch quietly while I took the time to go through my extensive to-do list. After all, it’s Advent, leading up to Christmas, one of the busiest times of year for *everyone* but particularly for pastors.
But no. His clinginess continued. Wanting to be in my lap, whether I was sitting on the couch or at the kitchen table. Wanting me to talk with him or read to him or sing with him. I was feeling so frustrated because I needed this time to get stuff done and all I could think about was how I was going to manage the rest of the week, how I was going to prep for worship and make sure the pageant happened and work on the discernment session at the end of the month and getting everything in line for Christmas Eve and…
...and all of a sudden, I realized that I was creating sacred space for my kid, who wasn’t thinking of anything else but that he needed his mom to help him feel better. And even though I had all these “important” things to do - that didn’t matter in this moment for Michael, who felt safe and secure, loved, held, and carried. Creating that space for Michael was one of the most important things I could be doing right then. I was reminded in that moment of how the idea of making space has actually informed a lot of my parenting -- like when kids come home from school and melt down at the end of the day, it isn’t because they are wanting to punish you, it’s because they are in a space where it’s OK to feel and share negative emotions. And that sacred space is created when people know they are loved and welcomed for all of who they are - when grace and forgiveness are practiced, and when courage and vulnerability are celebrated.
Author and professor Joseph Campbell has this great quote: “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.” That can be true in our homes - and I think it’s true for many who have made their homes here on the island - that there is something about this place, there is something about this community - that allows us to find our selves over and over and over again. There’s something that exists in the space between us, something that the landscape speaks to, something in the rhythm of this island that is sacred. Not all of it - to be sure - those of us who are here know the island has its problems and imperfections - but that’s true of us as people, too - as we talked about last week, about being sacred people, faults and all. Sacred space is all around us - and we’re invited not only to extend that sacred space to others….but to embody it ourselves...to make space within our hearts and within our lives for Christ to enter in and shine forth from us.
So I invite us to find that sacred space as we draw nearer to the birth of Jesus - to spend time in those places where you can find yourself - your true self as God’s beloved child - over and over and over again. Where God’s freedom and grace in your life can be nurtured - and where you can do that for others….where you can be a part of the unfolding of God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven….and where you can make space for others to join in as well. Let us create that space together as we sing our next song together - Sanctuary.
Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You
Scripture - Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38
Matthew 1:18-25 (The Message)
18-19 The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t know that.) Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.
20-23 While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—‘God saves’—because he will save his people from their sins.” This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term:
Watch for this—a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son;
They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”).
24-25 Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream: He married Mary. But he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby. He named the baby Jesus.
Luke 1:26-38 (The Message)
26-28 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:
You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you.
29-33 She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.
He will be great,
be called ‘Son of the Highest.’
The Lord God will give him
the throne of his father David;
He will rule Jacob’s house forever--
no end, ever, to his kingdom.”
34 Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”
35 The angel answered,
The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
the power of the Highest hover over you;
Therefore, the child you bring to birth
will be called Holy, Son of God.
36-38 “And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.”
And Mary said,
Yes, I see it all now:
I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
just as you say.
Then the angel left her.
One: The Word of Life. All: Thanks be to God.
(Loved, Cherished, Valued, Worthy, Beautiful, Holy, Sacred, Blessed, Treasured, Precious)
Mary and Joseph - ordinary people who did something extraordinary for God. The twelve disciples - ordinary people who did something extraordinary for God. John and Charles Wesley - ordinary people who did something extraordinary for God. Those of you who were at last week’s discernment session heard other names mentioned as well - people like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke, Richard Allen -- all ordinary people who did something extraordinary for God.
It’s easy to think of these people - and others in the Bible like King David or the Apostle Paul or named throughout Christian history, like Saint Francis of Assisi or Mother Theresa or Dorothy Day or Martin Luther King Jr. - as sacred people; We think - of course they are holy - and we ascribe that holiness to the fact that they must have been extra special or worthy or somehow more loved by God than the rest of us. After all, they are still remembered today - some even generations later. Some may have changed the course of history, the ripple effects of their life still felt today.
But the truth is - God doesn’t love Mother Theresa - or Mother Mary - any less or more than God loves you or me. There’s nothing more special about them as people in their inherent worth as children of God. What does, however, set them apart - what allows us to easily see as sacred people - is their willingness to say yes to God - their willingness to make God’s love known - their willingness to usher in God’s kingdom.
There’s nothing special about Mary and Joseph - first of all, Joseph is mentioned because he was engaged to Mary and decided to marry her anyway despite already being pregnant - cooperating with God’s command to not be afraid to take her as his wife. Joseph says yes to God. As for Mary, we have all these assumptions that she must have been especially pious or meek and mild - when in actuality, do you realize how much guts it takes to say yes to being an unwed mother in a society that stoned women for such behavior? That takes courage, boldness, grace - but she isn’t more special than any other person. What makes her worthy of notice is that she says yes...she says yes to the angel. “I am the Lord’s servant, Let it be with me just as you have said.” She decides to bear this holy child for God’s bold agenda of a kingdom of righteousness and peace, of love and hope for all.
There is truth when we say we are all loved equally by God - that we are all God’s children. The person you see in the grocery store, the homeless panhandler in Portland, the children you see at the mall, the bank teller who cashes your check - even the person you sit next to in church. However, what makes you and me sacred isn’t merely our belovedness, but our willingness to be used by God - to be present for someone who needs company, to stand up for those who are hurting in our world, to advocate for the poor or the hungry, to cross the lines that divide us to love and listen to those with whom we disagree -- and when that happens, when you open yourself to God’s love to take root in your heart, when you offer yourself to God’s use in the world, you realize that maybe there isn’t this division of people after all - that even those who we would label as “Other” - those who are very different from us or those who are marginalized by our society or those whom we unintentionally tend to devalue….that their belovedness makes them sacred too as we see God’s love for humankind reflected within them.
One way to understand this is through the Christian practice of icons. Icons aren’t merely religious artwork or pictures of saints - but icons bear witness to the reality of God’s presence with us in the mystery of faith. Much like some of us experience God’s presence with us as we contemplate the sunrise or when we walk through the woods - or how some of us feel close to God after a conversation with a friend - icons serve as a means for experiencing the Kingdom of God and as a way for us to be present to that kingdom.
As we consider Sacred People in this season, I’m reminded of the story of Ryan Klinck, who is part of the Missional Wisdom Foundation - which is an organization that is reenvisioning forms of Christian community - experimenting with monastic models where people live together in urban or rural settings and share prayer and ministry together or supporting churches using community development models for neighborhood enrichment, and so much more. The work of these communities often takes people out to the fringes - the fringes of their neighborhoods, their comfort zones, their previous experiences -- and it is there that they encounter God and partner with what God is already doing out in the world.
Ryan Klinck lived in Bonhoeffer House for several years - a house in East Dallas that lived and journeyed alongside people who were homeless or homesick - and many of these folks lived in community together - sharing a house, sharing resources, and being in ministry with one another and their neighborhood. As he was living and working there, he was beginning to see the divine goodness in his homeless friends and their giftedness and began to wonder what it would look like to see his neighbors, friends, and people in his community as saints. He did this because so often the world overlooks those who are homeless - beyond just bypassing them on the street, there’s a tendency to devalue their gifts, their stories, their wisdom - devaluing their very humanity. So Ryan and his friend Josh decided to show the world and lift these folks up to say, these are saints, just like all of us are called to be saints - and invite people to see them as God sees them.
He took pictures of his friends - many of them homeless, others who were living in the house - and his friend Josh turned them into icons - you can see on the screen - as a reminder that we need each other to be transfigured into sainthood.
Because here’s the thing - when we start to see ourselves as beloved children of God, as people worthy of God’s love even despite all our growing edges, our mistakes, our sins, the things we don’t have together in our lives - if God loves us even with all our faults and failings and we are willing to say yes to God, imperfect though we are…..if there is sacredness and holiness in that….then that sacredness extends to others who are also imperfect...and also beloved.
We recognize each other as sacred people -- that doesn’t mean we have it all together, it doesn’t mean our lives are perfect -- but it does mean we are willing to encounter God in the other, we are willing to say yes to God’s life of hope and love, we are willing to usher in the presence of the kingdom by being open to the presence of the Holy Spirit among us. But that starts with seeing ourselves that way.
To help us with that - we have a mirror here. I was talking with Deb when we were putting together the bulletin on Thursday and she mentioned that she didn’t like the bulletin image - and I asked why, and she said “because nobody likes looking at themselves in the mirror.” So you can blame Deb for giving me the seed for this idea. It made me think about how so many self-help books or programs have you do self-affirmations in front of a mirror - like “I am a strong and capable person” or “I can do hard things” or whatever else it might be. And there’s value in that because it helps change our perception of ourselves. What I want to suggest, though, is that even though we say we know that God loves us personally and that we are people of sacred worth...do we really believe that on the deepest levels of our being? Do we truly acknowledge our own belovedness, our own worthiness, do we believe we are sacred people - not in spite of our imperfections, but as human beings on this journey toward wholeness and union with God?
So as you are led - come forward and take a look in the mirror. It doesn’t have to be a long look - but when you are there, take one of these markers and write one of the words we have up here...loved, cherished, valued, sacred...there are a whole bunch. And then take another look - maybe repeat that word a few times to yourself silently or out loud - as a way of reminding yourself that you are a sacred person -- and that together - we are sacred people on a journey with God to usher in God’s love and peace in this place and beyond. Come forward as you are moved to do so.
I’m reminded of a sentence in our welcoming statement. It reads, No matter who you are or where you are on your journey, you are loved and a child of God. These are words we all need to take to heart -- for others, yes….but also for ourselves...that we are sacred people together.
I want to close with a quote from Desmond Tutu, archbishop of South Africa, who talks about this beautiful word from the Bantu language - Ubuntu. It roughly translates as “I am because we are.” He says, “Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality - Ubuntu - you are known for your generosity and for recognizing everything and everyone as sacred.”
May we in this season recognize everything and everyone - including ourselves - as sacred -- so that in our belovedness, we may make God’s love known in our lives for the sake of God’s glory...for the sake of others who need to be reminded of their own sacredness...for the sake of this world which God loves so much. Let us be willing to be used by God for this time...this place...and this people. Amen.
Scripture - Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 3:1-12
Romans 13:11-14 (NRSV)
11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; 13 let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Matthew 3:1-12 (The Message)
-2 While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptizer,” was preaching in the desert country of Judea. His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.”
3 John and his message were authorized by Isaiah’s prophecy:
Thunder in the desert!
Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!
4-6 John dressed in a camel-hair habit tied at the waist by a leather strap. He lived on a diet of locusts and wild field honey. People poured out of Jerusalem, Judea, and the Jordanian countryside to hear and see him in action. There at the Jordan River those who came to confess their sins were baptized into a changed life.
7-10 When John realized that a lot of Pharisees and Sadducees were showing up for a baptismal experience because it was becoming the popular thing to do, he exploded: “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to make any difference? It’s your life that must change, not your skin! And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as father. Being a descendant of Abraham is neither here nor there. Descendants of Abraham are a dime a dozen. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire.
11-12 “I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action comes next: The main character in this drama—compared to him I’m a mere stagehand—will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.”
One: The Word of Life. All: Thanks be to God.
“You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep.”
Several months ago, before Genevieve was born, Ben and I were trying to figure out how to manage Michael’s sleep - he’s never been a great sleeper and one of our goals before welcoming Genevieve into the world was to improve his sleep - namely him being able to fall asleep more independently and...having him not wake us up at 5 in the morning. To help deal with the latter, we purchased an “OK to Wake clock”. We bought an owl. You set the time for when it’s OK for your kid to get out of bed. When you squeeze the owl and it’s before the set time, it turns orange, and it plays a little “Go back to sleep now” song and some lullabies. Squeeze the owl after the set time, it turns green and it says “Time to wake up!” and plays some happy wake up music - and that’s Michael’s signal that it’s OK to get out of his room and wake us up (if we aren’t already awake). This OK to Wake clock is the best thing ever and has saved our sleep on more than one occasion (well, at least until Genevieve came along!)
In the Christian life, the season of Advent is like our “OK to Wake” clock. It’s the green light that says, “it’s time to get up now” - because Christ is coming and the kingdom of God is here. For that matter, John the Baptist was like the “OK to Wake” clock for the Jewish people - urging them to live the kingdom life now. His urgent message of repentance drew people to the Jordan river for baptism to wake them up so they wouldn’t miss out on what God was about to do in Jesus. Maybe more than an “OK to Wake” clock - John the Baptist was like an alarm clock, that you couldn’t hit the snooze button on, alerting people that the time to change hearts and lives wasn’t some day in the future, but was here right now.
This is the life that the early Christians lived - this perpetual alertness to what God was doing - because they watched and waited for Jesus to come back and they believed that that day was soon. This is what Paul means when he writes, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near.”
It’s OK to Wake now - get ready because God’s kingdom is here.
In Advent, we prepare ourselves and get ready for Christ to come again; for Jesus to be born anew on Christmas, to come once again into our hearts and lives. I don’t know about you, but oftentimes my preparations for Christmas have little to do with waking up to the reality of God’s kingdom in our midst and more to do with whatever Christmas “emergency” has caught my attention. I mean that in the sense of how easy it is for me to find myself caught in the trappings of Christmas because they are things that my time just seems to flow towards without conscious thought - following the blaring sirens to the tree lot, to the mall, to the parties and concerts, to the kitchen in a baking frenzy, to church, to the craft fair, to home again to decorate and oops, I’ve forgotten to mail out Christmas cards again and I’ve forgotten that I really have a choice about how to spend my time in getting ready for Christmas - and to do so in a way fully awake and expecting Christ around me rather than drifting through the season half-asleep to the true meaning of this season.
So perhaps instead of Christmas emergencies - the trappings that pull us toward the perpetual to-dos of festive anticipation, we should think of preparation for Christmas as a time of “emerge-agency” - a time to celebrate and welcome our ability to order time according to what we find sacred and a gift, instead of where the sirens are or whatever feels most urgent or whatever we find distracting or draining.
We get to choose - we get to choose to construct our time in a way that allows us to see our preparations as holy and sacred. We get to have agency and not merely be swept along by the busyness of this season. We get to choose whether we get ready for Christmas half-asleep or fully awake and present to what God is doing in our midst.
Being awake may be something as simple as taking 5 minutes of silent prayer at the beginning of the day. It may be choosing to donate extra food to the food pantry or clothing to Goodwill in a reverse Advent calendar - where you add one item a day to a box for donation. Being awake may be about lighting a special candle in your home as a reminder of God’s presence with you or to remember that each task done in preparation for Christmas can be a sacred one. Being awake for you may be about letting go of certain obligations to focus more on being present to God or to others - visiting or calling those who have a hard time making it out, baking extra cookies for neighbors, offering a helping hand to other people in their own preparations for the season. It could be about working to forgive someone or loving someone who you find difficult to love. Being awake means participating in the things that make up God’s kingdom, it means changing your perspective, it means living a kingdom life, one that is green and blossoming, as we heard from our scripture this morning - not living life as if we were deadwood ready for the fire.
You may have noticed the paper watches in your bulletins. Take those out - and take out a pen or pencil. Think about what takes up your time and attention during this season - especially those things that seem like “emergencies” and write them down on the watch. When you are done, put them on your wrist.
Does everyone have them on?
I invite us to take some time for silent reflection - on the ways God is inviting us to be awake and ready this season - on the ways God wants us to use our time in ways that draw us toward the sacred and holy - on the ways that we can order our time so that it is life-giving and holy.
As you are moved to do so - come up to the front -- take off your watch and offer it here and exchange it for one of these bracelets - as a reminder to be awake - as a reminder that we can choose to spend this season in ways that are life-giving and meaningful...and that we can choose to find the sacred in all things.
[start playing Be Still and Know….as folks are starting to come forward, we’ll start singing it together….]
Let us pray. Thank you, God, for the Emergence of our sacred gifts of Agency in this Holy season. In all the upcoming “nows” we will experience, grant that we may wisely order and inhabit your sacred gift of time - with each other, our families and friends, and with all the many needs that cross our paths. Enable us to resist the pull of the all demands upon our time, drifting from one thing to another, but keep us awake and ready for you. In the name of Jesus, for whom we are getting ready, we pray, Amen.
Pastor Melissa Yosua-Davis has been serving the community of Chebeague and its church since July 2015. She currently lives on the island with her husband and five year old son and 2 year old daughter, along with their yellow lab. Read here recent sermon excerpts, thoughts on life and faith, and current announcements for the church community. She also blogs at Going on to Perfection.