Advent 4- Sacred Knowing (Peace)

December 17, 2023 10:00 am

Advent Four – Sacred Knowing (Peace)


“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look,
the young woman is with child and shall bear a son,
and shall name him Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7: 10-16

“Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this
way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to
Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found
to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband
Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and
said, & Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew 1: 18-25

Many of us look for signs to help us know what to do, or we wish we could have our own personal angel visit us to let us know the “right” next steps. Uncertainty is a fact of life–this seems ever more true. This week we will remember that there is a Christ within us constantly birthing wisdom and a deep knowing if we will but listen with a contemplative heart. Let us
seek out quiet in order to hear the voice that brings peace by gently saying, “do not be afraid.”

Advent 4: Sunday, December 17 ~ “Sacred Knowing” @ 10am
Christmas Eve, Sunday, December 24 ~ “Sacred Being” @ 5pm & 8pm

Advent Theme: Reflecting the Sacred
by Marcia McFee

As religious folk, it is imperative that we grapple with our incarnational faith and what it calls us
to be and do. Advent and Christmas is as good a time as any to talk about incarnation. Our wrestling with theology matters because religion has, and does, move us to create a particular kind of world. And the world we live in at the moment has its problems (did I hear an “amen?”).
The way we see the world, relate to the world, live in the world and with each other has theological roots. In other words, what we believe
about the holy, what we think is “sacred” or not, determines how we treat each other and creation.

The worship series logo features a “bokeh” light effect–a term that graphic designers use to
describe “the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in out-of-focus parts of an image.” We’ve chosen this look to highlight the idea that we can look through a “lens” of the sacred to see the beauty of the Christ reflecting in all things. When we have a “hard-focus,” things appear two-
dimensional. With this kind of lens, we tend to criticize, we nit-pick, we judge, we even fret about perfection.                                                                      But when we add a “soft-focus” like the “portrait” setting on our phone
cameras, that which we are looking at becomes more three-dimensional, more stunning against the blurred backdrop. We see it in a different way. More fully. Perhaps even more beautifully reflecting the sacred. Can we use a lens this season that highlights the holy all around us? Can
we see life as pregnant with Christ… not just Mary in a story from long ago, but everyone and everything capable of bursting forth with goodness and grace?

Come see the sacred in everything with First Church during Advent Worship on Sunday
mornings at 10am.