Sermons and Meditations
The Diocese of West Virginia
Tuesday in the Second Week of Advent
December 12, 2023
For Mark, the holiday season doesn’t begin with angels singing “Hosanna” or with tidings of great joy. It begins in the wilderness. If you can recall, the story of God’s people also began in a wilderness. The God who freed the Israelites from slavery taught them how to surrender and trust. Stripped of all worldly power, wealth, or status, they learned to depend on God’s goodness and mercy.
At the edge of the wilderness, John calls God’s people to a new beginning. He calls them to repentance. What is repentance, but a new beginning? Repentance is not about shame, but surrender. The Bible stories we hear in this season are all about surrender. A young woman consents and surrenders her life to God’s will and purpose (Luke 1:38). Joseph surrenders and trusts the words of the angel. John the baptizer surrenders his ego and status so that Jesus may be glorified (Mark 1:7). Ultimately, Jesus will surrender his life for us and for the world.
The Good News of Christmas is that God has come into the world in Jesus Christ to make all things new. Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber writes that, “in Jesus, God is doing a new thing, not to make us good but to make us new.”1 In this Advent season, let us surrender our lives to the One who is making all things new. Let us surrender our egos and our need to control. Let us surrender our broken relationships and our need to be right. Let us surrender our pain, our hurts, and our fears to the One who makes all things new.
“Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”
The author, The Rev. Chris Scott serves
Christ Church, Clarksburg and St. Barnabas, Bridgeport
“It’s All About Love”
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry delivered the opening sermon July 9. 2023, to hundreds of Episcopalians gathered in Baltimore, Maryland, for “It’s All About Love,” a churchwide festival focused on worship, learning, community, and action.
Learn more about the festival, happening through July 12, and watch morning plenaries, evening worship services, and the closing Eucharist via livestream.
Below is a video of Curry’s opening message. Links to other services at the festival will be added as they are available.