Grace Episcopal Church
29 November 2018
Watch. That’s what we do in Advent. We live in the “not yetness” of the season as we live in the “not yetness” of this life, looking for our Lord, awaiting His coming, trying to live each day prepared for that hour the time of which we do not know.
How then are we to live? In the collect for Advent 1 we pray that by God’s grace “... we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light ...”, that when that last day does come we may rise to life immortal. All that we do now is preparation for that last day. So the question of how we are to live thus becomes: How do we cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light?
We got pretty clear signals in all those lessons about judgment with which the last year came to an end, lessons which tell us that faith is to be active, that we are to take risks and bear fruit. Put these teachings together with our prayer to put on the armor of light, and it becomes clear that the armor of light is put on in how we allow God’s light to shine forth in our lives by doing His will, His work.
When Jesus tells us to watch, to keep awake, He challenges each us: What will you do? How will you put on the armor of light? We can start by recognizing that the works of darkness require darkness. And what is darkness but the absence of light? The works of darkness are, therefore, interior; they thrive when we turn inward. But when we reach out we open up, and in the open shadows cannot abide. Putting on the armor of light means taking the light which we have been given by God and sharing it to let it shine.
In this season of Advent consider one ministry that we all can do. Take the prayer list in your bulletin and combine this with the names found in the parish directory. This will give you a list of people who you may not know and those who you know very well. Take this list, and every day lift up several names before God in prayer. Lift them up, whether you are praying for a known need or not. In doing this you will be rendering service and you will be brought closer together with your fellow disciples. In doing this you will be lifting up any hurt or ill to be redeemed in our Lord’s Passion, sharing in a ministry of “com-passion” (literally, “passion with”) both with those in need and with Jesus. In doing this you will be offering the prayer and sacrifice of a penitent heart. The armor of light will combine the red of martyrdom, the purple of penitence, the green of everyday life, and the black of mourning, to shine with the white of the coming of our Lord at Christmas. May the works of darkness will be cast out by this active light of expectation, service, and worship. Strong armor, indeed.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Ed Clabots for procuring emergency coffee hour supplies for the past Sunday; Susan McIntosh and Rachel Boland for setting up coffee hour, and Julie Davidson for cleanup.
Call for Contributions: If you have a spiritual reflection to share, or want to point your fellow worshipers toward a resource, submit your contributions to Fr. Karl (by email) by Wednesday in the week of publication.
Don’t forget “Something Extra for Grace”: Supplemental giving envelopes can be found in pews. If you want to give something extra, please use an envelope to ensure that you are credited.
Music this Week: The First Sunday of Advent
Dr. R. Benjamin Dobey, Music Director
Prelude Chorale Prelude on Savior of the nations come Max Reger
Entrance Hymn 58 “Lo! he comes with clouds descending” St. Thomas
Offertory Hymn 61 “Sleepers wake! A voice astounds us” Wachet auf
Communion Motet O Radix Jesse R. Benjamin Dobey
Communion Hymn 615 “Thy kingdom come, on bended knee” St. Flavian
Closing Hymn 66 “Come thou long expected Jesus” Stuttgart
Postlude Chorale Prelude on Sleepers Wake J G Walther
· Thank you!!! To all who helped with the Samaritan’s Purse Shoeboxes! We sent off 17 shoeboxes to children around the world. We will be monitoring the whereabouts of our boxes as they travel and will keep you posted!
· Advent Lessons and Carols: On Sunday, December 2, a festival of Advent Lessons and Carols will be offered here at Grace beginning at 4:00 p.m.
Featured will be Dr. R. Benjamin Dobey, Organist and the Grace Episcopal Church Choir. The service is followed immediately by an Afternoon Tea reception. If you are willing to volunteers to bring food and/or clean-up, please see the sign-up sheet in Narthex.
· St Nicholas’ Visitation: St. Nicholas will visit Grace Church on Sunday, December 9 during the 10:15 service. We invite all children to come and receive a special treat.
· Salvation Army gift tags for 2 families: The tree is up, and gift tags for our two Salvation Army Families are on it. If you are interested in participating, please follow the instructions on the table next to the tree. If you have any questions, please call Jessica Ambelang at 918-5667.
· Children’s Christmas Pageant Rehearsals: Three (3) practice will take place on Sunday, December 2, 9 and 16 during the Sunday School hour. Participation is open to youth of all ages. The Children’s Pageant will take place during the 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass.
· 2nd Annual Ugly Sweater Contest: The Sunday School children will once again host and judge the ugly Christmas sweater contest on Sunday, December 9 in St. Nicholas Hall after the 10:15 service. The winner will receive a coveted award and have their picture on display in the Children’s Library.
· Christmas Joy: On Thursday, December 20 at 11:00 a.m., interested members can meet in the church kitchen to assemble winter greens and flowers, bag cookies and then make deliveries. We need helping hands. Can you bake, make a delivery and/or help arrange? Please join us for this fulfilling and fun ministry to our homebound and elderly. They will appreciate it. Call Barb MacEwen (920.912.4505) if you have questions. The sign-up sheet can be found on the Narthex table.