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Advent 3B Gaudete Sunday

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Notes & Transcripts

Why use the Lectionary

First an apologeia for using the Revised Common Lectionary
It may be a mainline denominational thing but it is a good thing. Even evangelicals have rediscovered its advantages, Robert Webber for one.
First: You preach the whole counsel of God, any preacher if they have to select their own passages, will gravitate to certain parts of the Bible. My cousin has spent years on and the parables of Jesus, esp. the Parable of the Sower. This gives you some from almost all books of the Bible in a three-year plan. A is the year of Matthew, B Mark, C Luke. John is read a lot at Easter, and because Mark is such a short Gospel, is read during Year B, for example five weeks on (I am the bread of life) in the summertime (middle of between Pentecost and Advent).
People who say, "yeah but look at all you're skipping" the answer to that is, you have one hour of church every week, what is your plan to preach the Bible. I think this is the best.
Second: You preach semi-continuously and topically at the same time.
Third: You preach the Bible as a story, people say in our post-modern age, a narrative, a story, is critical to reaching people. This story starts either with Advent 1 or three weeks before really, and runs through Pentecost, so November through June.
Fourth: Objections
Regulative Principle vs. Adiophora
One objection is this type of reading is not in the NT. There is something called the regulative principle, which reformed people hold, places like Bethlehem Baptist, people like RC Sproul and Don Carson, denominations like Reformed and Church of Christ. To them candles, harmony, instruments, anything that isn't in the NT shouldn't be practiced. Compare that to the principle of adiophora or the normative principle, whatever is not forbidden can be done, instruments, harmony, candles. With respect to the RCL, if it is a good idea, there's nothing wrong with it. The other choice is Matthew-Matthew-Matthew. This is, as you will soon see, pairing up passages from the OT and the Gospels thematically, all with a view to "what time is it" meaning where are we in the Christian year.
Hallmark Year versus the Christian Year: Hallmark Year is Valentine's Day-May Day-4th of July ie Independence Day-Labor Day-Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas; and days like Tax Day-Opening Fishing-Black Friday. Why do we have follow a secular year. We do know when Easter is, right? If we start with that, the most important day for Christians, then we can think about Pentecost, the events of Holy Week (Upper Room discourse and footwashing of ; Gethsemane and Arrest, Trial and Nailed to a cross, Darkness, Veil torn, graves opened, silence, burial, third day (Fri-Sat-Sun) resurrected.
Lent doesn't have to be a Catholic thing, in the very early history of the church it was the time for catechesis which is the training of those who would become members. Forty days (Jesus in wilderness forty days, Moses on Sinai forty days - excepting Sundays which are celebrations, little Easters, so six weeks. You can do things on these days, Maundy Thursday, the Th before Easter, footwashing, Fri solemn service, Sat middle of the night is Easter Vigil, alternate scripture reading and hymn singing, most of the night. Ash Wednesday, you know from funerals, from dust to dust. after fall, God tells Eve she will have pain in childbirth and to Adam that it with the sweat of your brow that you'll bring forth crops. He adds "remember, you are dust, and to dust you will return." We are, in that sense, dead men walking.
Advent-Christmas-Epiphany Add to that Christmas, and the season of preparation before Advent (hold up booklet from this church's lobby) and Epiphany.
Wise Men-Baptism-Cana
(and Simeon and Anna in Temple and Transfiguration)
Epiphany is all about wise men, Simeon and Anna in Temple, Jesus' baptism, His first miracle at Cana. Epiphany means manifestation, so the Gospel readings for that season will go over those events.
Advent 1, 2, 3 (Gaudete), and 4
Eschatological/Parousia and Birth
Advent 1 is eschatological and is about Jesus' Second Coming, parousia. We are to "keep watch" for he will come "like a thief in the night." Advent 2 is already shifting to Jesus' first coming but we focus on John the Baptist first just from "Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight, the high places shall be brought low and the low places raised." In a minute we'll read more about John the Baptist. Advent 4 is the last Sunday before Christmas. Remember Christmas, December 25, could happen or occur on any day of the week, so Advent 4 is the last Sunday before Christmas. This year it's on a Monday, so on the 24th some, probably many churches, will skip a Monday service and just read the Christmas Bible readings that Sunday, what is officially Advent 4.
Epiphany closes with Transfiguration Sunday, that was a manifestation of Jesus, white dazzling bright clothes on top of the mountain with Peter, James and John. When Jesus is baptised there is the voice from heaven that says, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased," so when people heard that voice, they knew Jesus was not just any man, he was special, this was his manifestation, his showing, his revealing, that's why we read it every Epiphany.
Trinity Sunday starts Ordinary Time and Christ the King ends it, two more special Sundays
Isaiah 61:1–4 NLT
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations.

Isaiah 61:1–4 NLT
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations.
Isaiah 61:1–10 NLT
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations. Foreigners will be your servants. They will feed your flocks and plow your fields and tend your vineyards. You will be called priests of the Lord, ministers of our God. You will feed on the treasures of the nations and boast in their riches. Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. “For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the Lord has blessed.” I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:8–11 NLT
“For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the Lord has blessed.” I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.
Isaiah 61:The Spirit was on Jesus, he was sent to do all these things, to bring release and freedom and comfort. He read this in the synagogue at Nazareth where he grew up. That shows that this passage in Isaiah was about him. One week and one day from now we'll celebrate Christmas, Jesus' coming. This description in Isaiah is about that baby that will soon be born, that will come to this world. CS Lewis calls this God's Invasion, to not just let this world, so to speak, go to hell, but to rescue it.
The Spirit was on Jesus, he was sent to do all these things, to bring release and freedom and comfort. He read this in the synagogue at Nazareth where he grew up. That shows that this passage in Isaiah was about him. One week and one day from now we'll celebrate Christmas, Jesus' coming. This description in Isaiah is about that baby that will soon be born, that will come to this world. CS Lewis calls this God's Invasion, to not just let this world, so to speak, go to hell, but to rescue it.
The Spirit was on Jesus, he was sent to do all these things, to bring release and freedom and comfort. He read this in the synagogue at Nazareth where he grew up. That shows that this passage in Isaiah was about him. One week and one day from now we'll celebrate Christmas, Jesus' coming. This description in Isaiah is about that baby that will soon be born, that will come to this world. CS Lewis calls this God's Invasion, to not just let this world, so to speak, go to hell, but to rescue it.
Psalm 126:1–6 NLT
When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.” Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert. Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.
When Yahweh brought back his exiles to Jerusalem it was like a dream. The return from exile in Babylonia was like the Exodus, both of those are pictures to us of our "trip" from darkness to light, from bondage to freedom.

When Yahweh brought back his exiles to Jerusalem it was like a dream. The return from exile in Babylonia was like the Exodus, both of those are pictures to us of our "trip" from darkness to light, from bondage to freedom.
When Yahweh brought back his exiles to Jerusalem it was like a dream. The return from exile in Babylonia was like the Exodus, both of those are pictures to us of our "trip" from darkness to light, from bondage to freedom.
John 1:6-8
The return from exile in Babylonia was like the Exodus, both of those are pictures to us of our "trip" from darkness to light, from bondage to freedom
John 1:6–8 NLT
God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.
NLT
John 1:19–28 NLT
This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.” “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?” “No,” he replied. “Are you the Prophet we are expecting?” “No.” “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’ ” Then the Pharisees who had been sent asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?” John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.” This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
We will read In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God on Christmas Day. He came, the logos, the word of God, to earth. Today we begin at verse 6, it's about John the Baptist. See, if you read the whole chapter there is too much, better to focus on what you can cover, what matches the season we are in. Jesus will come but that happens eight days from now. If we're telling a story, we aren't AT JESUS yet, we are at the one who prepared for his coming, his cousin John the Baptist. The second half of the reading today is John saying he is not the Messiah, not Elijah, not the Prophet (Deu 18.15) but the voice (crying in the wilderness).

Conclusion

We will read In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God on Christmas Day. He came, the logos, the word of God, to earth. Today we begin at verse 6, it's about John the Baptist. See, if you read the whole chapter there is too much, better to focus on what you can cover, what matches the season we are in. Jesus will come but that happens eight days from now. If we're telling a story, we aren't AT JESUS yet, we are at the one who prepared for his coming, his cousin John the Baptist. The second half of the reading today is John saying he is not the Messiah, not Elijah, not the Prophet (Deu 18.15) but the voice (crying in the wilderness).
So we have moved from Jesus' Second Coming to his First. To see the baby is to know this same person will grow up, know he is the Messiah, be baptized, gather disciples and train them, perform miracles, teach and dispute with the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes, be arrested, nailed to a cross, die, be buried and be raised on the third day. So even in the baby we can see all these events in that person. And also that person will return again.
So we have moved from Jesus' Second Coming to his First. To see the baby is to know this same person will grow up, know he is the Messiah, be baptized, gather disciples and train them, perform miracles, teach and dispute with the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes, be arrested, nailed to a cross, die, be buried and be raised on the third day. So even in the baby we can see all these events in that person. And also that person will return again.
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