Before I get too much into the end of the 2018 Backlog, I do want to talk about Advent. On Wednesday we finished our Advent candle services for the Youth Group. The proudest moment of that was when Emily actually remember what Advent means! I was pretty pumped, let me tell you.
This Sunday, Mom, Logan, and I lit the Advent Candles during the first service at church. Today is the second Sunday of Advent and I forgot that because I missed the first Sunday of Advent when I went to Manhattan, Kansas last Sunday.
I thought (lest you forget that this is a Christian website) we could have our own little advent service here. I could just lift the reading straight from what the readers at my church read. We will have to do two candles this Sunday because I slacked off last week.
THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
One: Advent calls us to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ.
All around us people prepare for parties, dinners and presents.
These events could distract us from the real reason for our anticipation.
On the other hand, they also could prepare us;
they could be the voice crying in a wilderness of materialism:
“Prepare the way for the coming of what is really important.”
All: Rather than get lost in the wilderness of distractions,
we will let the music and the lights make us sensitive
to the voice that is even now calling our name.
We will listen for the Word in the words and even in the noise.
One: A reading from the Prophet Isaiah, Chapter 40, verses 1-5,9.
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”
Please join me:
All: In this season of hustle and bustle
we are tempted to get frantic and join the panic
to shop our way into the holiday spirit.
In this moment, we resist that temptation
and choose instead to be at peace
with who we are and where we are on this path.
We will let this time prepare us,
and we will hear God’s call
to be those who prepare the world.
One: On this first Sunday of Advent
we choose to be a peaceful presence
in this midst of a frantic season.
So, today, we light the first candle
as an act of preparation and call it Peace.
THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
One: As our days grow shorter and our nights longer,
we who are people of faith turn to symbols
such as candles, evergreens and wreaths
to proclaim our belief in the unquenchable light.
In hopeful anticipation,
we prepare for the coming of the Reign of God.
Listen for the Word in the words of the prophet
for the second Sunday of this new church year:
All: We open our hearts to the Word in the words.
One: A reading from the Prophet Isaiah, Chapter 64, verses 1, 7- 9.
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence. There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.
Please join me:
All: As we begin our journey to the light,
we confess that our lives have not always been lived
in ways pleasing to God.
Our shame has left us feeling distant from
the One who is both Mother and Father to us all,
the One in whose hands we are like clay.
Yet even now,
our longing for the One
who tears open the heavens and comes down
kindles like a fire in our soul.
Even now as we wait, we dare to hope.
One: We who are pregnant with anticipation
feel hope rise up within us.
And so we light this second candle
and name it Hope.
Yes, I know the candles are lit out of order.
A special Sunday post to celebrate the end of the 2018 backlog. From now on “An Artist’s Notebook” will live more in the here and now, however, it should be pointed out that there is quite the 2019 backlog, but I can probably hammer that out in another 9 months or so…
Believe it or not, some of the Naima pictures weren’t taken at Dickcissel. They were taken at the Jay Carlson Wildlife Area. I don’t take Naima there very often because it just isn’t setup very well for her.
The 2018 Backlog is dead! Long live the 2019 Backlog!