Fourth Sunday of Advent, Reflecting on Surrender The feeling of being in control plays a major role in our experience of satisfaction or discontent, of joy or sadness. In Philippians, Paul reminds us how God surrendered absolute control of divinity to become vulnerable and enter into our messy world as one of us. To celebrate God as Emmanuel, God with us, is a radical pronouncement of God's love for us and a letting go of control, which is required to risk profound love.
Third Sunday of Advent, Rejoicing in God The Christmas story begins under the shadow of some unexpected and seemingly unpleasant circumstances. Fear, anger, and a loss for words would be understandable responses from a young woman in a situation similar to that of Mary of Nazareth. But Mary does something unexpected: she "rejoices in God!"
Second Sunday of Advent, Faith vs. Certainty As the final forerunner to announcing God's reign, John the Baptist plays an important role in the history of salvation. Yet, while in prison, John's certainty about Jesus wavers. He sends some of his own disciples to question if Jesus is the Messiah.
First Sunday of Advent, A Prophet's Challenge Some of life's patterns are comforting and assuring, like the rising and setting of the sun, while others can be disconcerting, like a powerful storm.