Advent 3: We Can Choose a Better Way
By Amy Norton
December 8, 2022 - 10:50am
This Advent, we are following the series From Generation to Generation from A Sanctified Art. Recalling Mary's words in the Magnificat:
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
God's mercy is for those who fear God from generation to generation. (Luke 1:48b, 50)
On Sunday, we’ll re-read the story of when an angel visits Joseph, encouraging him to step into his role as Jesus' father and Mary's husband, despite his hurt and confusion (Matthew 1:18-25).
Our Advent curriculum reminds us,
"As far as Joseph knows, his new wife has been unfaithful to him and broken their marriage contract. And yet, instead of punishment, he chooses not to publicly disgrace or humiliate her. This interruption in his life becomes a holy invitation when the angel comes to him in a dream and says, “Do not be afraid.” When he awakes, Joseph once again has the courage to choose a better way. He chooses to stay with Mary, to become an adoptive parent. He chooses peace over violence, grace over condemnation. Like Mary, he chooses to say “yes.” When have our ancestors also chosen a better way, and when have they not? Isaiah 35 is a vision of what happens when we choose a better way: the wilderness blooms, water breaks forth in the desert, eyes are opened, ears are unstopped, sorrow and sadness flee away. A highway shall appear and it will become a holy way."
One of the commentators also asks a poignant question: how might Mary have felt knowing that it took divine intervention for Joseph to come to this decision? Lots to ponder in this familiar story- I always look forward to meeting you in the middle of it to ponder and journey together. Perhaps we can all leave worship on Sunday with our hearts set on a better way.
Advent Worship Series: From Generation to Generation
Advent 3: December 11, "We Can Choose a Better Way" (Matthew 1:18-25, Isaiah 35:1-10)
Advent Midweek: Thursday, December 15, 6:15pm, Parlor
Advent 4: December 18, "We See God in Each Other" (Luke 1:39-45; 56-58, Luke 1:46-55)
Blue Christmas: Thursday, December 22, 6:15pm, Parlor
Christmas Eve: December 24, Children's Storytime at 6:15pm (Parlor), Concert Prelude at 6:30pm, Lessons and Carols at 7pm
Christmas Day: December 25, Zoom Worship and Fellowship, 11am
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Image credit: “The Courageous Choice” by Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity © a sanctified art | sanctifiedart.org"