November 29, 2015 – Be ready

Advent 1   November 29, 2015   Psalm 25:1-10, Jeremiah 33:14-16, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Luke 1:5-25          Be ready **************************************************************** Early in the week I settled on ‘Be ready’ for a sermon title. But by mid week, as Black Friday and the seasonally-affective-disordered side of the season began seriously encroaching on my soul’s consciousness, soon I was thinking the sermon title probably should be ‘Ready for what?’ Ready for Advent and Christmas of course. But how does one actually get ready for Christmas in such times as these? And somewhere (actually on a Christian website), I saw the words of theologian Jon Stewart jumping out at me saying, “It doesn’t feel like Christmas – until someone gets pepper sprayed at Target.” Be ready for whatever. And do not forget your oxygen mask, if you heading for the mall. This is not exactly the kind of readiness the angel Gabriel expects of Zechariah, the elderly priest serving in the inner sanctuary of the Jerusalem temple. Priests are supposed to always be ready for the presence of God. Zechariah (as he himself reminds the angel) is no spring chicken. He’s served his priestly calling for many a year. He knows what to do to be ready. Yet still he isn’t ready – when Angel Gabriel appears with good news of a long-hoped-and-prayed-for child for him and his wife, Elizabeth. I can relate. I’m seldom well prepared for the Christmas season. I try to prepare, reading again the stories of Christ’s coming to birth; singing again the songs of Advent and Christmas. I start early, sketching outlines of Advent and Christmas worship, filling in details, day by day. I know how to do the technical parts of being ready for the season. But it still always takes awhile for me to actually get in the right spirit and frame-of-mind for Advent and Christmas. It’s a struggle for me, mostly because I rebel a lot against so much of what comes in this season, that seems so out of harmony with the original story… And even though I’m not at all sure how much difference my resistance makes…I still work at trying to make the season simpler…slower… and much more focused on God. And my main struggle now is just to keep these goals in focus… And remember always – Who it is I’m trying to be ready for. Over the years I’ve come to believe… the simplest, oldest ways are often best. Not that all traditions are good. Traditions are good or bad or some of both, depending on how we do them. Like the song from Fiddler on the roof – Tradition! Tradition! There are some traditions that we do for reasons no one seems to remember. Yet there are also traditions, thanks be to God, that remind us of how the story actually goes… And help us to remember to be thankful… to God and for those who have kept the faith alive… in times before us, in times at least as difficult as these…(and…) I still don’t know any better way to prepare for the coming of the Lord than the ancient traditional spiritual practices of prayer…Reading the scriptures… Visiting the sick, the lonely, the shut-ins. Feeding the hungry. Striving to show God’s love to deserving and undeserving alike. (Remembering I myself...

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Week of November 29th, 2015 – Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Fran Speers and Caryn White will host coffee hour next Sunday, December 6th. The Psalms Reading Group will meet today at 12:30pm at BUMC. Bible study Thursdays 1 pm, at Bourne UMC, Perry room. We are studying the book of Acts. All welcome always. Church Charge Conference is  November 30th at 6:30pm here at CUMC. OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS Bourne Food Pantry. Please remember to bring in your food items. They are much needed this time of the...

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Week of November 29, 2015 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, Nov. 29th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School Christmas Decorating Party 12:30 PM Psalms Reading Group Monday, Nov. 30th: 6:30 PM Charge Conference (@ CUMC) 7:00 PM Saints and Singers Chorus Wednesday, Dec. 2nd: 10:30 AM Bourne Women’s Club 5:30 PM Aptuxcet Garden Club Thursday, Dec. 3rd:    1:00 PM Bible Study at Bourne UMC Friday, Dec. 4th:    5:00 PM Cookie Walk & Church Tours Sunday, Dec. 6th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School 2:00 PM Girl Scouts (until 3:15pm) Monday, Dec. 7th: 12:30 PM UMW Christmas Potluck OUR CHRISTMAS DECORATING PARTY will take place after worship today. Plan to stay and help out! Family to Family Project tickets are available in Crain Hall for the next 2 Sundays for our family to family gift giving. We have 5 children and 3 adults. All gifts need to be new, age appropriate and returned to church by Sunday, December 13th. We will wrap and tag gifts after church on that day for distribution to the school later in the week. Questions? Call Marsha Burt at 508-759-8364 and thank you all once again for your generous support of needy families in our community. THE DECEMBER NEWSLETTER DEADLINE is Tuesday, December 1st. THE ANNUAL COOKIE WALK is taking place this Friday, December 4th, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Bakers are needed, as well as help with setup and clean up. Please sign up in Crain Hall. All cookies will need to be dropped off by 3pm on Friday. BIBLE STUDY THURSDAYS AT 1 PM, Bourne UMC, Perry room. We are reading and discussing the book of Acts. All welcome. THE SAINTS AND SINGERS CHORUS CONCERT is on Sunday, December 13th, at 3:00pm, here at Bourne UMC. They will present the Christmas program: “One Small Child”. Free admission. CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES: (Thursday, December 24th) 4:00pm Family Service (Bourne UMC) 7:00pm Lessons and Carols (Cataumet UMC) 9:00pm Lessons and Carols ( Bourne UMC)  ...

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