Date: December 1, 2019

Bible Text: Psalm 33:1-9, John 1:1-4 |


This Sunday marks the beginning of Advent, the season of preparation for the feast of Christmas. In Advent we practice what some call "active waiting," that is we work to make ourselves and the world ready for the coming of Christ. We prepare for his coming in history at his birth, in the present in our daily lives, and in the future when he returns to reign in glory. This year our Advent worship will focus on Incarnation. The word literally means "in the flesh," and refers to the mystery of God taking human form in Jesus Christ. Incarnation can be understood as the indwelling of the Logos – the Eternal Word of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Architecture of Creation – in physical form. In this way, the first manifestation of incarnation is the universe itself. As Richard Rohr refers to it, we lived in a "Christ-soaked world." The complexity, precision, intricacy, and fecundity of the universe are at the very least imprints of its Creator. Reflecting on the whole of creation can lead us to a deeper understanding of God in Christ and add richness to our celebration of the Savior's birth.

Notes from the Preacher

I mentioned Fr. Richard Rohr in the teaser above and in the sermon. I have enjoyed reading some of his work and hearing him live and on podcasts. According the website for the Center for Action and Contemplation:

Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard’s teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and self-emptying, expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized.

The phrase "Christ-soaked world" and other ideas of the whole creation being a manifestation of Christ and the love of God can be found on the CAC website, in Fr. Richard's recent book, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe, and in the related podcast, Another Name for Every Thing. The ideas are also presented in several of Fr. Richard's daily devotions, particularly September 1-7, 2019, give or take, which can also be found on the CAC website.

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