Worship Start Time: 10:30am
Worship Leader: Rev. Lee Spice
Theme: Advent Three - Do Not Be Afraid
SOCKS! SOCKS! SOCKS! This Sunday is the day to bring your donation of new SOCKS to the kitchen before church. The Elda Daniels Group will be delivering them to the DI again this holiday season. Thank you for your support!
Come early for coffee at 10am, and stay after church for coffee and conversation in the Memorial Hall. You may notice markers and large banners at the back of the Sanctuary and downstairs by the Memorial Hall. You are invited to colour these banners before, during, and after the service. Christmas pageant players will meet in the Sanctuary for a full performance workshop from 11:30-3pm. Lunch will be provided!
Co-op Gift Cards will be available for purchase in denominations of $25, $50 and $100 from Mary Axworthy - cash or cheque only please.
If you haven't already, pick up an Advent Journey booklet, and log your steps toward Bethlehem as we meditate through movement this Advent. Download a copy here.
Sermon: Advent III: Do Not Be Afraid
December 17, 2017
Rev. Lee Spice
When did the world start revolving on fear?
When did leaders come to be placed in power because people were afraid of losing their privilege?
When did acts of violence result from the fear of the other taking over or getting more than they deserved?
When did young people begin to take up arms to attack, for fear of being attacked first?
When did those in the minority come to be viewed with suspicion and fear, disguised as anger?
It seems the world is enslaved by fear.
Has it been always?
As long as there have been humans on this earth, they have been afraid.
At first, maybe afraid of freezing or starving or being eaten by a ferocious beast.
But fear, itself, is a ferocious beast – insatiable and unrelenting.
It convinces its victims that they are afraid.
Afraid of losing, afraid of The Other, afraid of the Different, the Strange, the Queer.
Even afraid of the Lesser, the Margins, the Poorer – worried that they will rise up and take without asking. Or receive without thank-you, I suppose.
I can just imagine God, wondering to Godself, “What do I have to do?”
“I keep sending prophets and teachers and messengers with the message not to be afraid.
But fear is an ugly motivator…and a powerful one.
Fear causes people to be violent, and pinched, and small.
Fear raises hands to hurt and turns beauty and inspiration into weaponry.”
“Better that people would be motivated by love.
Better that sacrifice would come in service and in helping others.
Better that people would learn that The Other will bring blessing and not harm.”
And so the Holy One began to work through the small things, the unlikely things, to bring blessing to the world:
A young couple in a hostile land, when fearful eyes were turned to Caesar.
A baby born in poverty, when fearful hearts pandered to power.
The message delivered to working folk, when fearful ears listened to rhetoric.
And the anointed one, who grew to be the very manifestation of God’s love, right here, in the middle of struggling humanity.
Today, more than ever, the world seems to revolve on fear.
Today, more than ever, fear trumps love.
But God has something to say about that.
Today, more than ever, we need to listen to the messenger angel:
“Don’t be afraid.
For unto you is born…
in the middle of fearful humanity,
amongst the small things
where you’d least expect it
God’s true love.”
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