Joy in the Midst of Incomplete Hope

*Call to Worship/Lighting of Wreath

Speaking as hope, though incomplete, began to feel tangible…
the prophet speaks.

Speaking into the time when the people were no longer exiled…
but the struggles were still real.

Isaiah outlines God’s vision for God’s people…
a vision of joy for ALL of God’s people.

God will bring Good News for the poor, God will bind up the wounds of the brokenhearted…
the imprisoned will be released.

In this time of Jubilee, grace and forgiveness will abound…
the foreigner and stranger will live among us.

Let us rejoice! Let us worship!
The God of all peoples envisions a time when  we will all live within God’s realm on earth as it is in heaven.

Praise be!
Praise be!

*Hymn Star-Child #174 SPP, screen

In a time when our world is fragmented and filled with too much hate…
We light this third candle of Advent, a symbol of the joy that comes when we choose to live within the unfolding realm of God.

Tim strives to share God’s extravagant love for all–no matter what & without strings. Seeking to follow the lure of the Spirit, Tim writes about what it means to be a follower of Jesus in an era where Christianity has come to be associated with hatred and political wedge issues. “Heinous things have been said & done (& still are) in the name of the One who breathed in the Divine,” notes Tim, “but Jesus shows us that God loves extravagantly.” Following the teachings and life of Jesus is about inclusion not exclusion. It is about compassion, grace, and admitting no one has all the answers. It is about responding lovingly to the best of our human ability. It is about people not institutions. It is about social justice. It is about caring for creation. It is about being who we were each created to be. Tim is a former early childhood educator, a runner, a hiker, a devoted husband, father of two adult children and their spouses, and a grandfather of four perfect grandchildren. Tim serves as Senior Pastor of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Albany, Oregon. He writes from home, from the coffee shop, and wherever the trail leads him.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Advent, Advent Candle of Joy, Call to Worship, Isaiah, Isaiah 61, Isaiah 61:1-11, Old Testament, Seasons of the Church

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Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

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