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O, Come Quickly Emmanuel!

The Rev. Robert P. Travis Advent 4th Sunday Sermon – 8:00am and 10:30am Church of the Ascension, Knoxville TN RCL Advent 4 Year C 12/23/2012 Scripture Text: Micah 5:2-5a, Canticle 15 (Magnificat), Hebrews 10:5-10, Luke 1:39-45

Sermon Text: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear.”
We sang that hymn at the healing service on Wednesday, and it struck me then, that we are more like captive Israel in this country, this week, than we have been at any time in my memory, that we are mourning in lonely exile here.
Three years ago, I preached on this Sunday, and at that time Jackie and I were expecting the birth of our third child, and first son. It was a very different fourth Sunday of Advent for us, full of expectation and hope, in which I shared the joy of Mary and Elizabeth in the same gospel reading we just heard.
Would I have been so joyful and expectant, if I knew how dangerous a world I was bringing this son into that I am so a…
The Third Sunday of Advent Luke 3:7-18 Repentance and the Good News of Change
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, Quiet our minds, quiet our hearts, in this Advent season, and create in us a true desire for you, that we might prepare with right intention and real effort for the indwelling of your Christ in our world, in our lives, and in our souls. Amen.
So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people” You know, I think it's funny the way that we change. The way that we change our likes and our habits as we get older or move into different phases of our life. The way we can even change very deep parts of who we are. Of course, I don't know how it works with you all, but if I ever even think about saying, “oh I'll never do that, or I'll never eat that, or I'll never like that,” well, it is pretty much guaranteed that I will, eventually. I mean I was never ever going to just sit down and snack on sliced tomatoes, enjoy anything with avocados…

Not Broken... But Not Mended Yet

Advent 1, Year C
Church of the Ascension
December 2, 2012
The Rev. Amy Morehous

Jeremiah 33:14-16 Psalm 25:1-10 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 Luke 21:25-36

I will walk out of the darkness
And I'll walk into the light
And I'll sing the song of ages
And the dawn will end the night.

I'm a dweller on the threshold
And I'm waiting at the door
And I'm standing in the darkness
I don't want to wait no more.

--”Dweller on the Threshold”, lyrics by Van Morrison


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So, here we are at the beginning again, you and I. Advent. That song by Van Morrison has been stuck in my head for weeks, as Advent drew closer. Even though it isn’t actually about Advent at all, it held a lot of my feelings about this holy time. A time when we wrestle with the now...and anticipate what has not yet come.

Our readings today acknowledge that now, and point us toward that not yet. They arise out of times of darkness: Jeremiah wrote for the exiled Hebrew people, people held captive far from home. Early Ch…
The Last Sunday After Pentecost: Christ the King John 18:33-37 Listening to The Voice
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
    So, in case you don't really know me all that well, I will go ahead and openly confess that I am a stubborn man. Recently I had a pretty important learning as a result of my being stubborn, that I'd like to share with you today. You see, many ordained people, priests and deacons, even before they are ordained, usually in seminary, are typically encouraged ( and of course that really means they are told and expected ) to find and meet regularly with a spiritual director. A person who is trained to be kind of a spirituality coach. A person who can provide some sort of spiritual accountability, and who can function as a kind of advisor for all things spiritual. So, a few years ago, I, just like all of my colleagues in seminary heard this message, received this command, and because at the time I really didn't like being told what t…