the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Year B - Advent 1

Liturgy of the Word:

Isaiah 64:1-9
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:24-37
November 27

The season of Advent used to be a mystery to my congregation. Being traditional Southern Baptists, they had never heard of any of the seasons of the Church. On my first introduction of the Advent season a prominent church member (not unlike "she-who-must-not-be-named") said that she was fed up with Advent and wanted to go back to celebrating Christmas instead. Perhaps I didn't do a thorough job of explaining that Advent, which means "coming" is a season that celebrates the coming of the Lord in the past (Christmas), in the present (coming into our hearts today) and in the future (the second coming of the Lord).

Isaiah is written in the time before the first coming of the Christ. He cries out in anguish for God to make himself manifest to the people. It has been a long, long time since God came down the mountain in the wilderness. God has disappeared. Which came first the chicken or the egg? God became angry and stopped revealing himself because the people followed after other gods. The people followed after other gods because God was no longer visible.

Isaiah begs God to "tear open the heavens and come down." The crowd in Jesus' day wanted a sign. Isaiah wants a sign. The people will not believe without a sign. The truth is, as the evidence of 9/11 proves, even a sign doesn't convince for long. We have short memories. Jesus answered the crowd that if they did not believe without a sign they would not believe even if they did have a sign.

And the word became flesh and dwelt among us...he came unto his own, but his own received him not

Today I am recycling a sermon I preached on November 27, 2005. You can find it HERE.


Blogger Curious Servant said...

Hi Joel!

Please feel comfortable with deleting this comment, as it is more directed toward you as a person that you as author, pastor, blogger.

I am surprised you think my blog worth linking from yours.

I wonder how someone with your credentials, would take some of the off the wall ideas I write about.

I feel like providing a list of disclaimers and warnings that would let too much scrutiny slide past what I write.

So... thanks for being kind enough to visit, to link, and espescially, to pray.

12/02/2008 9:01 PM  

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