NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT – PEACE
DECEMBER 7, 2014
I may be showing my age but I loved the musical “Godspell!” I’ve seen the movie and the play. “Godspell” was written and produced to be a modern day version of the gospels. It opened with a song by John the Baptist calling a disparate group of people (young New Yorkers) from their workaday lives to follow and learn from Jesus. I can still hear in my memory that opening song “Prepare Ye The Way of The Lord.” It was a song based on the passage of Isaiah 40:3 and repeated by John the Baptist in Mark 1:3 both of which are assigned lectionary readings for the Second Sunday of Advent.
At first look, this seems to be an odd passage for a Sunday whose theme is “Peace.” Yet, on second glance, it doesn’t seem odd at all. For “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him,” the words of Isaiah, repeated by John the Baptist, are words of hope and peace pointing to the coming of “The Prince of Peace.”
Advent for most folks is not known as the most peaceful of times. It is a time of preparation for Christmas and by now many are busy with those preparations. Sadly, not much of what we are doing during Advent included preparing for the peace of Christ to be born in us. Rather, much of it will be busyness about preparing for rituals and traditions through shopping, cooking, partying, and such. Henri Nouwen once said, “Our lives get stuffed with newspaper items, television stories, and gossip. Then our minds loose the discipline of discerning between what leads us closer to God and what doesn’t, and our hearts lose their spiritual sensitivity.” Nouwen could have easily been talking about the way we prepare during Advent for Christmas.
The message of Isaiah, repeated by John the Baptist, is an important message that we should heed, lest we lose our spiritual sensitivity to what is most important during Advent. The most important thing is “preparing the way of the Lord” or better yet, preparing for the peace of the Lord to be born afresh and anew in us this season.
The words of Isaiah, repeated by John the Baptist and used as the opening song of “Godspell” is a very much needed reminder for each of us still in 2014. “Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord.”
My hope is that you will enjoy the journey of Advent this year. I hope you have wonderful times preparing for Christmas and that your holidays will be indeed merry and bright. But most of all, my prayer is that you will prepare the way for the peace of Christ to be born in you with a new and fresh anointing this year.
Join us in worship this Second Sunday of Advent at Covenant. The theme is “Peace.” I will be preaching from Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-10 and Mark 1:1-8 a sermon called “May The Peace of Christ Be Born In You.”