Grace and peace on Gaudete Sunday or otherwise known as the 3rd Sunday of Advent. We coupled our worship with our Parish Vestry election as Anne and Leone rotate off the Vestry and Jim and Bert rotate on. It was nice to see some folks in church who have been prevented from coming for a little while. It’s always nice to have a good turnout. Tonight, we remember those who have had birthdays around the holidays because it is easy to let holiday season birthdays get overrun by the busyness of the season.

On another note, yesterday marked the beginning of my 9th year at St. John’s – time has flown and being nurtured as a priest in this loving Parish has been a joy. There are hopes that we may celebrate a few more anniversaries together; God willing.

In worship we picked up the theme of being joyful and rejoicing. Our Gospel today brings back John the Baptist and his railing at the Israelites “You brood of vipers” and the direction that all we need to do is be hospitable, loving, and generous. There’s no magic formula, just connection with our community as detailed by God. But the theme of joyfulness also had the backdrop of Paul’s letter to the Philippians and his direction to “not worry about anything” (NRSV translation). Our journey in Advent invites us to consider what we worry about and how our search for God’s Peace in the here-and-now helps us not be anxious.

I invite your comments,

Readings: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18

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