Psalm 80:1-17, 17-19
By Lanni Lantto
Isaiah was a prophet in times of kings. In the lectionary passage, God sends him to Ahaz, a king defending his earthy kingdom, to say that God will send a sign: a young child named Immanuel meaning God is with us. This child, from a very young age, will know how to, “refuse the evil and choose the good.” For Ahaz, who may have felt powerless in his situation, this message was meant to give him hope for a time of peace and restoration.
Springtime by Alex Kladnik, Creative Commons
Seeking the True Joy of Advent
Matthew 11: 2-11
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at?” Matt 11:7
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus, it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.
by Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson
Amid the shadowed darkness of impending winter, our Advent lection from Isaiah envisions springtime joy. We might at first wonder, “What does Isaiah’s imagery have to do with the celebration of the birth of Jesus?” This questions leads to another query: What exactly are we hoping for with the coming of the one we call “messiah” and “lord”? Or as John the Baptist puts it in this week’s gospel, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” (Matt 11:3) Continue reading
The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
Many peoples shall come and say,
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:1-3)
By Laurel Dykstra
It is hard to be hopeful in the Anthropocene, in the days when the destructive human impact on climate, individuals and communities, creatures, waterways and ecosystems is unprecedented. The lectionary passages this week have a fierce and compelling urgency but they seem far from the Advent theme of hope and further still from this lectionary project’s focus on Creation. Just what should we be awake to? Why the urban emphasis the focus on judgment?
Landscape with Shepherd and Sheep; Anton Mauve, Vanderbilt lectionary project for art
Jeremiah 23: 1-6
By Reverend Kelly Giese
Jeremiah’s oracles of a future king, a messiah, indicate that the sheep, the pasture, the people, the flock, never leave the watchful eye of the Lord. All are referred to as “mine” belonging to Yahweh. There is a close association of the Lord the God of Israel to those who shepherd and know the sheep; and to the land, its fecundity, and even to the spiritual lives of the sheep and shepherds: God dispels fear, corrects those who are in error, and even finds the missing. Continue reading
Photo Credit Brynn Craffey, Vancouver Climate Strike, 2019
Proper 28 (33) C
By Brynn Craffey
This week’s first Lectionary reading from Isaiah features a vision of the Almighty who promises to create, “new heavens and a new earth,” in which, “the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.” Restoration is a theme running through Isaiah, and today’s passage conjures up visions of utopia in my soul. I imagine old paradigms collapsing, social justice replacing unfairness throughout the land, and communally supported programs, such as Medicare for All and robustly-funded public health care systems, ensuring that, “No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.”
Harlington Heights, looking south David A. Galbraith, CC
By Sandy Reynolds
I am often confronted with the destruction of the natural world from my backyard. I live near the escarpment trails that run through the city of Hamilton, Ontario. On a clear day, you can see across the bay to the CN Tower in Toronto. Frequently the view is hazy and the landmarks in the distant are barely visible. Looking through the all too familiar yellow-tinged smog I try to imagine what this land was like when it was pristine. Before my people came. Continue reading
By The Rev. Marilyn Zehr
19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.
– Luke 19:10
If the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost, who could be more lost than large corporations whose actions defile the earth and her creatures? But wouldn’t corporations need to be “people” in order to be saved? Apparently in the USA, corporate personhood is a thing. Corporate personhood is the legal notion that a corporation separately from its associated human beings (like owners, managers, or employees), has at least some of the legal rights and responsibilities enjoyed by natural persons. Continue reading