Tuesday, December 7

Weekly Update: Adventus

Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." (Matthew 3:8-12)

Greetings from the Pastoral Team.

This past Sunday was a blessing. Though our location presents certain challenges for us, it affords us many opportunities as well. We met John on Sunday. He wandered in during Larry's sermon, sat down and stayed long enough to join in our discussion time as we reflected on the sermon and shared the vision of our congregation with him. He was a willing participant in the conversation and had quite a few questions. We shall see if he returns. But what is interesting is how we will continue to nurture and be challenged by our very public worship space. It was mentioned Sunday that meeting in a coffee shop may have some similarities with the early Christian communities as they too met in public places. Surely we have stumbled across nothing new in this, but it is exciting!
There are a couple of announcements to share:

  1. December 12 will be our first Congregational Meeting. Please plan to stay a little late after the service. We want to speak about the congregation's constitution and the possibility of acquiring not-for-profit status in Illinois. You all may be asked to be nominal Board Members for the time being. There will be no actual responsibilities at this time, though we would ask for you all to discern if you have a call, we simply need names on paperwork.
  2. Saturday December 25 is Christmas Day. In stead of meeting at Chase Cafe for worship on Sunday, we will meet the afternoon of the 25th for Evensong and fellowship. We will be going carroling afterward! Bring friends. Invitations will be extended to others outside of the Reconciler community.
  3. You can follow this link to Larry's sermon if you were unable to attend on Sunday. Feel free to comment on the website. (http://christreconciler.blogspot.com/2004/12/sermon-second-sunday-in-advent.html)
  4. Poems by Thomas Hall (his blog) have also been posted. How are you marking this Advent? Are you reflecting through poetry? Music? Art? Scripture? Feel free to share your journey with us.
  5. yes some day
    we just might meet
    a king with names carved into his hand

We look forward to worshiping with you all this season. As Christmas approaches, may we all live into the challenge of Advent. Perhaps Larry said it best in his sermon this Sunday:

Be ready for the one who comes and separates the wheat from the chaff, whose salvation is judgment between what can live on and what is of no worth and will be consumed as God transforms us and the world. Remember Advent is a time of
preparation for the coming cataclysm of a child born in a manger, who would bring fire to the earth to accomplish true peace. Remember Advent is a penitential season because what we expect and what is to come are far apart. We are whether we want to or not bound up in a world that is awry; whether it is social system or personal morality, what we expect and think is right probably is very different from what will be as Christ comes and brings fire to the earth. So wake up, be aware! Yes anticipate, but be ready we only have inkling of what is to come. Say good bye to Santa and his trinkets and welcome the wild man John and his call to repent, for it is the only way to welcome the coming Christ.

Repentance is a gift from God to all the world. It is how we may see Reconciliation. Go, therefore, into the world, sharing the love of Emmanuel.

Let us all be transformed by God's love.

- Larry, Jane and Tripp