Advent

3rd Sunday of Advent

December 14, 2008
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Reading 2: 
Psalm 126
Reading 3: 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Reading 4: 
John 1:6-8, 19-28
By Bruce G. Epperly

“The spirit of God is upon me, because God has appointed me to bring good news.” 

3rd Sunday of Advent

December 15, 2002
See Also: 

Year A
Year B
Year C

Advent Candle Liturgy

John Cobb on Incarnation
Daniel Day Williams on incarnation
Preaching Christmas

Reading 1: 
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Reading 2: 
Psalm 126
Reading 3: 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Reading 4: 
John 1:6-8, 19-28
By Bruce G. Epperly

On important life occasions, we “dress up” as a recognition that certain times and places are set apart as extraordinary. The same applies to our preparations during the Christmas season. While there is nothing inherently wrong with giving our friends and families unwrapped presents, our hearts leap with joy when we see brightly colored gifts under the Christmas tree. While those of us who are “all thumbs” choose to deliver our presents in “gift bags,” even these ready-to-hand packages add to the zest of gift giving.

2nd Sunday of Advent

December 7, 2008
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 40:1-11
Reading 2: 
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
Reading 3: 
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Reading 4: 
Mark 1:1-8
By Bruce G. Epperly

The lectionary readings for the Second Sunday of Advent call us to an imaginative “everyday eschatology,” grounded in a transformed “prophetic Pelagianism.” First of all, the passages assert that our vision of God’s future calls us to certain ethical, spiritual, communal, and interpersonal behaviors. Second, the passages invite us to see ourselves as God’s companions in an eschatological adventure, in which we are not passive observers but active participants.

1st Sunday of Advent

November 23, 2008
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 64:1-9
Reading 2: 
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Reading 3: 
I Corinthians 1:3-9
Reading 4: 
Mark 13:24-37
By Bruce G. Epperly

The passages for the First Sunday of Advent are particularly apt for our current economic and global context. They reflect the stark wintry spirit which leads us to believe that our best days are behind us and that all we have to look forward to is the diminishment and destruction of the realities that have sustained us through the years. As I pondered this week’s texts, I was reminded of C.S.

4th Sunday of Advent

December 23, 2007
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 7:10-16
Reading 2: 
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Reading 3: 
Romans 1:1-7
Reading 4: 
Matthew 1:18-25
By Paul S. Nancarrow

Isaiah 7:10-16

4th Sunday of Advent

December 19, 2004
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 7: 10-15
Reading 2: 
Romans 1: 1-7
Reading 3: 
Matthew 1: 18-25
By John B. Cobb, Jr.

Three of the passages for this last Sunday in Advent express the desperate nature of the situation in which they are written. Isaiah is speaking to the king of Judah at a time when he sees little possibility of coping with his enemies. The psalmist depicts the land of Israel as in ruins. Paul describes the universal human condition that has resulted from people choosing the worship of idols instead of the true God.

Christmas Day

December 25, 2001
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 52:7-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 98
Reading 3: 
Hebrews 1:1-12
Reading 4: 
John 1:1-14
By Bruce G. Epperly

Commentary by Bruce Epperly & Anna Rollins

3rd Sunday in Advent

December 16, 2007
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 35:1-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 146:5-10
Reading 3: 
James 5:7-10
Reading 4: 
Matthew 11:2-11
By Paul S. Nancarrow

Isaiah 35:1-10

3rd Sunday in Advent

December 12, 2004
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 35:1-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 146:5-10
Reading 3: 
James 5:7-10
Reading 4: 
Matthew 11:2-11
By John B. Cobb, Jr.

The passages selected for today continue the pattern of those for the previous Sunday. All express hope based on confidence in God. What they hope for depends on the circumstances in which they were written.

3rd Sunday of Advent

December 16, 2001
Reading 1: 
Psalm 146: 5-10
Reading 2: 
James 5: 7-10
Reading 3: 
Matthew 11: 2-10
By Bruce G. Epperly

Commentary by Bruce Epperly & Anna Rollins

Psalm 146: 5-10
James 5: 7-10
Matthew 11: 2-10

2nd Sunday in Advent

December 9, 2007
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 11:1-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Reading 3: 
Romans 15:4-13
Reading 4: 
Matthew 3:1-12
By Paul S. Nancarrow

Isaiah 11:1-10

2nd Sunday of Advent

December 5, 2004
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 11:1-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Reading 3: 
Romans 15:4-13
Reading 4: 
Matthew 3:1-12
By John B. Cobb, Jr.

Whereas the scripture readings for last Sunday could not be read as specifically anticipating the coming of Jesus, matters are quite different today. The passages from Isaiah and Psalms have been understood by Christians as prophecies of Jesus. In these instances, of course, no one supposes that the writers had direct knowledge of Jesus. Their prophesies were expressions of hope.

Joy in All Things

Author - First Name: 
Bruce G.
Author - Last Name: 
Epperly
Date Delivered: 
December 17, 2006

Advent 3, Year C

Isaiah 12:2-6
Philippians 4:4-9
Luke 7:7-18

Theme: Living joyfully
Location: Disciples United Community Church, Lancaster, PA

Good theology—clear and life-changing thinking about God—has three interconnected components:

Ash Wednesday

Author - First Name: 
Jeanyne
Author - Last Name: 
Slettom

A Service of Ashes

Holy Communion Service for Christmas Eve

Author - First Name: 
Carolyn
Author - Last Name: 
Bohler

THE INVITATION

Pastor:  God is with you.

All:  And also with you.

Pastor:  Let us open our hearts to the Spirit of Christ, born a long time ago, and born again this night (can be “today” if anytime during Advent or Christmastide), in our lives.

All:  We open our hearts to God, the Christ birthing now in our lives, and to one another—precious embodiments of Your creation.

Pastor:  We give thanks.

All:  We thank God with joy.

Blue Christmas

Author - First Name: 
Rick
Author - Last Name: 
Marshall

A Service of Remembrance for the Time of Advent and Christmas

A Ceremony of Lessons and Carols

Author - First Name: 
Jeanyne
Author - Last Name: 
Slettom

This service of lessons and carols is based on the traditional set of readings with some changes. It retains lessons 3-9, but shifts the message of lessons 1 and 2 away from original sin toward original blessing. The first reading is God’s creation and blessing of humankind; the second is God’s covenant with Noah. The opening and closing liturgies are rewritten to reflect the perspective of a process-relational theology. Hymn suggestions aim, for the most part, to accommodate congregational favorites.

1st Sunday of Advent

December 2, 2007
See Also: 

Advent Liturgy

John Cobb on Incarnation

Daniel Day Williams on incarnation
Preaching Christmas

Reading 1: 
Isaiah 2:1-5
Reading 2: 
Psalm 122
Reading 3: 
Romans 13:11-14
Reading 4: 
Matt 24:36-44
By Paul S. Nancarrow

The season of Advent is a time of preparation for the coming (Latin adventus) of Christ. We usually think of this as preparing for the church’s remembrance of the coming of Christ in the birth of Jesus, celebrated in the feast of Christmas. But another ancient theme in the Advent season is preparing for the coming of Christ at the end of time, the “second” coming in which this created order will be deconstructed and reconstructed into the realized Reign of God.

1st Sunday of Advent

November 28, 2004
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 2:1-5
Reading 2: 
Psalm 122
Reading 3: 
Romans 13: 11-14
Reading 4: 
Matthew 24:36-44
By John B. Cobb, Jr.

What is most striking about the passages selected for the first Sunday of Advent is that none of them deal with the coming of Jesus. The closest, I suppose, is Matthew 24:36-44, but this is talking about the coming of the Son of Man. Whether Jesus actually predicted this event is a matter of dispute among scholars, but the text places these words on the lips of the Jesus who has already come. Unless it is understood as a promise of his own return, the connection of the passage to anticipation of Jesus is very slight.

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