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Weekly Liturgy : December 11 - 17

John the Baptist - Kreg Yingst
John the Baptist - Kreg Yingst
John 1:6-8, 19-28

6-8 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.


19-20 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, "I am not the Messiah."


21 And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" He answered, "No."


22-23 Then they said to him, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,'" as the prophet Isaiah said.


24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, "Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?"


26-28 John answered them, "I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal." This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

 

REFLECTIONS:


Thoughts from John: This week we again encounter John the Baptist as we wait for the promised Christ to arrive. Like the priests, Levites, and Pharisees, many of us probably have expectations for who God is and how God shows up in the world. We probably also have lots of curiosities toward others who say they speak on behalf of God.


John seems to recognize that he’s operating within such a tradition of expectations and idealogical values. Certainly, what he was doing was disruptive enough to catch the attention of the religious and cultural authorities. The God that John could see was new and different, and hidden among the very people who claimed God as their own.


John’s witness is a challenge to my own perceptions of the Divine-Among-Us. He calls forth a willingness to see God in places I’m convinced God would rather not be. He suggests that my rigid boundaries are probably too small.


This Christmas, may the spirit of John reside within us. May we have courage to stand in new places, on the other sides of ideological streams, and among those whose worldview challenges our own. And may the God of Christmas open new paths for every one of us to reach the Promised Land.





 

PRACTICE:

Meditation Advent Calendar


December 3: Spend 1 minute reflecting on waiting.

December 4: Spend 2 minutes reflecting on mercy.

December 5: Spend 3 minutes reflecting on justice.

December 6: Spend 4 minutes reflecting on goodness.

December 7: Spend 5 minutes reflecting on love.

December 8: Spend 6 minutes reflecting on forgiveness.

December 9: Spend 7 minutes reflecting on wholeness.

December 10: Spend 8 minutes scrolling on social media.

Send a message of encouragement to one person in your feed.

December 11: Spend 9 minutes focusing on your breath.

December 12: Spend 10 minutes outside in silent awareness.

December 13: Spend 11 minutes in a public setting observing the people around you.

December 14: Spend 12 minutes tending to your yard, your garden, or your plants.

December 15: Spend 13 minutes reflecting on waiting.

December 16: Spend 14 minutes stretching your body.

December 17: Spend 15 minutes in gratitude.

December 18: Spend 16 minutes reflecting on joy.

December 19: Spend 17 minutes re-reading a favorite text.

December 20: Spend 18 minutes reflecting on liberation.

December 21: Spend 19 minutes re-listening to some favorite music.

December 22: Spend 20 minutes in silent awareness.

December 23: Spend 21 minutes outside.

December 24: Spend 22 minutes reflecting on waiting.

December 25: Merry Christmas!

 

“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.


Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.


Copyright (C) 2023 Church at the Park. All rights reserved.



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