the first sunday of advent
the PRAYER. . .
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. By your merciful protection alert us to the threatening dangers of our sins, and redeem us for your life of justice, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
the READING. . .
[Jesus said:] “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap.”
the DEVOTION. . .
The song makes it sound so simple. “Don’t worry, be happy!” We tap our toes. We bob our head from side-to-side. We sing along. And this verse is a lot like it. “Don’t let your hearts be weighed down with the worries of this life.” We can almost hear Bobby McFerrin, now. But truth is, we should be warned not to get all that carried away with the things of the “next” world, either!
We get so wrapped up in pearly gates and happily-ever-afters, that we lose sight of what’s right before our eyes. We chase after god – up high, far away – that we get lost in the clouds. Spiritual! Supernatural! Otherworldly! Dreaming so much about what awaits us, that we forget why we’re here, today… to get up from the table, tie on an apron, and wash each other’s feet!
Don’t worry, be happy? Don’t let your hearts be weighed down? With the worries of this world? With the worries of the world to come? How about OUR version of the golden rule, instead… Doing unto others as god has done – as god is doing – unto us!
Bob Barndt, pastor