Join us on 12/06/2020 when the guest preacher will be:
Reverend Marsh Drege
ELCA Pastor and Executive Director of Seafarers International House
This week we hear from Isaiah, 2nd Peter, and the Gospel of Mark. In this first Advent gospel reading, four times the disciples are called to keep awake, alert, on the watch. Something is going to happen.
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”
Readings and Psalm
The narrative immediately preceding it (Isaiah 39:1-8) features King Hezekiah, who hosts an envoy from the faraway country of Babylon. This narrative, which functions as the conclusion to “First Isaiah” (Isaiah 1-39) points forward to what is arguably the book’s most formative historical moment: The Babylonian exile. Isaiah 40:1-11 can be described in one word: “Comfort” (root: n-ch-m). This text is a word of tenderness after a very long and dark night of judgment.
Psalm 85, like the other texts, follows a similar theme, that of the coming of God. If one were only to consider the lectionary verses from Psalm 85, then one might be tempted to read Psalm 85 in the same vein as Isaiah 40, as an announcement of the forgiveness of sin and the promise of the in breaking of God.
Yet, the intervening verses of Psalm 85 do more than simply shift the theological tenor of the text; they create space, critical and pastoral space, for the reader and hearer to inhabit in this second Sunday of Advent.
2nd Peter 3: 8-15
Apocalyptic language is used in 2 Peter 3:8-15a to express the seriousness of Christian holiness and divine judgment.
Forerunners are often unseen figures and unsung heroes. Their back stories are unknown. The details of their lives are underimagined or undervalued. They garner minimal attention, because they are forerunners—those who plow the ground, destabilize the terrain, and make ready for change that is to come. They are not The One; they are those who come before The One.