A Zen Priest Goes to Midnight Mass

Merry Christmas! As we continue this joyful season, we want to share with you the story of two of our visitors on Christmas Eve, see the link below. This is one example of why it’s so important that we all put our best foot forward on days when we welcome so many newcomers through our doors. The welcome we show is an evangelism opportunity. Thanks to everyone who helped make our Christmas celebrations so beautiful. Follow this link to view the article, "A Zen Priest Goes to Midnight Mass," by James Ford on Patheos: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/monkeymind/2018/12/a-zen-priest-goes-to-midnight-mass.html

"God in Jesus came and lived in our neighborhood"

We come to the final time of preparation to celebrate Christmas, God in the flesh come among us. That's what we really celebrate. Onn Christmas Eve we tell the story of Jesus' birth from the Gospel of Luke, with the baby in the manger, Mary, Joseph, and Bethlehem, the angels and the shepherds. On the morning of Christmas day, we ponder what all this means. We read from the first chapter of St. John's Gospel, especially that wonderful verse, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." God in Jesus came and lived in our neighborhood, as another version puts it. But more than a historical event in the past, Christmas says that God continues to abide with us, through the power of the Holy Sp

"Where would Jesus' humble mother appear in our day?"

This week, many Christians celebrate Mary, but in a particular representation— Our Lady of Guadalupe. We will celebrate her at St. John's on Sunday because she is not only an image of our Lord's mother, but an icon of how God meets us where we are, speaks to us in a language we can understand, and challenges our assumptions. You may know the story of how a Mexican Indian named Juan Diego received a vision of Mary. The importance of this visitation is not simply in her appearing, but in her appearance. Mary came to Juan Diego as an Aztec woman who speaks to him in his own language and calls him "my son." Mary, who brings forth the author of the new creation, Jesus our savior, lets this poor d

"Our world can seem like a dark wilderness sometimes..."

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. Last week's sermon at St. John's focused on the Collect for the First Sunday Advent. This week's Collect also has a lot in it to focus our thoughts and prayers. We look back to the prophets of Israel, and particularly in Advent to John the Baptist who invites us to prepare the way for the Lord in the wilderness. Our world can seem like a dark wilderness sometimes, with littl

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