Most people these days use the word ‘preach’ in a negative way. Like “stop preaching at me.” I’ll use the word ‘proclaim’ on occasion just so we can steer around the negative connotations. But the reality is, the Gospels all agree when Jesus began his ministry and it wasn’t in the manger–it was after his baptism by John. Immersed in the Jordan River, he came forth “preaching the good news.” So a preacher is, or should be, trying to echo that good news of Christ. And you’ll note this by the way–there is Good News before the crucifixion. We have a lot of crucifixion-fixated Christians who fail to recognize that Jesus proclaimed Good News from the very beginning.
So I bring this up to say, I’m preaching on the second Sunday of Advent (Dec. 9) from a song that Moses sang as one of the last things he ever did, reminding the people who were about to enter the Promised Land without him just how they had managed to journey to that moment in their lives. Not only is it a challenge to proclaim any time but during Advent, it is a special challenge. I won’t bore you with all the reasons that is true but just one: it’s a challenge because everyone has heard the story or they think they have heard it. So why show up in church on a Sunday morning when you could be doing laundry or watching the news cycle which very much resembles the dry cycle as you do your laundry? Right! You can show up to get out of that rutted and mundane hamster cycle of existence, sit in a sanctuary of peace and light with others who simply want to daydream about peace and justice or rejoice for what Advent uncovers or are praying, like you and I, for some answers to the riddles we keep in our pockets like old parking meter stubs.
How about this? You come to worship on Sunday and I’ll do my dead level best to sort through Advent and offer some good news. Afterward, we’ll all go downstairs for our potluck Koinonia Lunch (a word that means ‘fellowship’). And then we’ll have a short concert on the carillon outside. It beats the heck out of wet clothes and dried, recycled news. ~See you Sunday