|Easter 5, Year C||May 19, 2019||Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C||John 13:31-35|
|Easter 4, Year C||May 12, 2019||Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year C||Psalm 23; John 10:22-30|
|Easter 3, Year C||May 5, 2019||Third Sunday of Easter, Year C||John 21:1-19|
|Easter 2, Year C||April 28, 2019||Easter 2, Year 2||John 20:19-31|
|Easter Sunday, 2019||April 21, 2019||Easter Sunday||John 20:1-18|
|Good Friday, 2019||April 19, 2019||Good Friday||John 18:1-19:42|
|Maundy Thursday, April 18, 2019||April 18, 2019||Maundy Thursday||John 13:1-17, 31b-35|
|Palm Sunday, Year C||April 14, 2019||Palm Sunday, Year C||Luke 23:26|
|Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year C||April 7, 2019||Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year C||John 12:1-8|
|Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year C||March 31, 2019||Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year C 2019||Joshua 5:9-12;Psalm 32; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32|
|Third Sunday in Lent, Year C||March 24, 2019||Third Sunday in Lent, Year C||Luke 13:1-9|
|Second Sunday in Lent, Year C||March 17, 2019||Second Sunday in Lent, Year C||Luke 13:31-35,Philippians 3:17-4:1|
|First Sunday in Lent, Year C||March 10, 2019||First Sunday in Lent, Year C||Luke 4:1-13|
|Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019||March 6, 2019||Ash Wednesday||Isaiah 58:1-12|
|Last Epiphany, March 3, 2019 – Rev. Mark Jefferson||March 3, 2019||Last Epiphany, Year C||Luke 9:28-36, [37-43a]|
Advent 2, Year C
Sermon Date:December 9, 2018
Scripture: Baruch 5:1-9, Luke 3:1-6
Liturgy Calendar: Advent 2, Year C
First half of 12th century Mosaic St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice. The artist provides an especially wild version of the saint’s hair and camel-hair tunic. The scroll is another of John’s attributes. In the west it usually quotes John 1:29, (“behold the lamb of God”)
Today, we have already met Zechariah and Elizabeth, the parents of John. We’ve heard about the birth of John, and how the word of God came to Zechariah.
Now, THE WORD OF GOD has come to John!
Today’s gospel carries us into the wilderness to hear John proclaiming a baptism for the repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Our own baptisms remind us that God blesses each one of us by clothing us in the beauty of the glory from God,
that God chooses for each one of us to wear the robe of righteousness that comes from God alone, and that God crowns each one of us with royal diadems of the glory of the Everlasting,
that God treasures us so deeply that God will bring us back home to God, no matter how far we have strayed away, carried in glory, as if on a royal throne.
And that none other than God will lead us.
The early Christians were baptized in the nude.
And when they came up out of the water, they were given white robes to put on.
Then they joined the rest of the gathered congregation. We still see vestiges of this custom today, when families dress their children in beautiful white dresses for their baptisms.
Look at your neighbor. Imagine that person, dressed in a glowing robe, with a diadem of glory on his or her head.
No matter what we are wearing today, we are all dressed in robes of righteousness, and we glow with the beauty of the glory from God. But sometimes our sorrows and afflictions drape us in dark heavy cloaks that hide this beauty.
Today’s song of praise (Comfort, comfort ye my people) reminds us that God comes to comfort us, to speak peace to us, to comfort us who sit in darkness, mourning beneath the loads of our sorrows. God has come to remove our sins from us, and to set us free.
So imagine yourself taking off that heavy clothing of affliction and worry that you are wearing. Imagine that you, YOU, underneath all that heaviness, are wearing the beauty of the glory from God, that you are wearing a robe of righteousness, that you are wearing a diadem more beautiful than any earthly crown, because it is shaped from the glory of the Everlasting.
Imagine God carrying you through your days back toward God, carrying you in glory, as on a royal throne.
Imagine how different, and how much more wonderful each day would be if you lived into this glory that God has already given to you.
Part of the work of preparing for the coming of the Lord in this season of Advent is to wear with joy the clothing that God has already given us to wear.
Today’s last hymn (People look East) reminds us of the joys of getting dressed and ready for God in our midst.
Trim the hearth, set the table. From the seed, a flower will bloom. Birds guard their nests in anticipation. Stars shine beyond the frosty weather, brighter than the sun and moon. And angels announce Christ’s coming with shouts of joy.
So in the week ahead, as the Lord’s coming draws closer and closer, take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction.
And put on forever the beauty of the glory of God.