Matthew 3:1-12

Worship Bulletin & Sermon Downloads

Second Sunday of Advent
Even though the world around us is already fully awash in jolly secularized "Christmas" festivities, as we walk the deeper and more-ancient paths of Christian worship practice, we move further into a time of preparation, contemplation, reflection, solemnity, and even repentance that we call the season of Advent.  This week, our scripture readings will bring us back to the witness of John the Baptist, one of the few parts of the Jesus story that is included by all four of our Gospels.  The "preparation" for Christ's coming that we're invited into was at the heart of John's message: to be awakened to the knowledge that the kingdom of God is at hand, and to ready ourselves for its coming by "repenting" -- that is, by changing our hearts and lives.  Such reorientation, however, isn't a sad or bad thing; rather, we're being invited once more to bring our lives into alignment with the truly life-giving ways that God intends for us.
As we touch on this important part of our annual Advent journey this week, we're also pleased to be welcoming to our pulpit Melanie Ihmels as our guest preacher.  Ms. Ihmels is a Diaconal Minister in The United Church of Canada and a student in the Master of Divinity program at Vancouver School of Theology.  She is also currently engaged in ministry with the Mustard Seed Street Church, a Baptist-affiliated ministry in Victoria, B.C., working among some of that city's most vulnerable.  She resides in Victoria and will be preaching for us remotely.  (Rev. Matt will be here and leading the rest of the worship service.)