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Advent Sunday Bulletin

Bulletin (Click on PDF)

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Saint Bart's is a church that believes God is calling us into the world — together. As part of this call, we seek the common good for society, provide moral vision and are committed to addressing social and cultural injustices and issues. The ELCA participates in God’s just and loving purpose for all of creation in many different ways, from the daily actions of members as citizens, to efforts in social service, to public witness for justice.

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As a Lutheran church body, Saint Bart's professes belief in the "priesthood of all believers" as reflected in Martin Luther's To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, that all baptized persons have equal access to God and are all called to use their gifts to serve the body of Christ. All are welcome here and we embrace the diversity of the beloved community.

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Theology is a conversation. It involves speaking and listening, understanding and sharing understanding, and it consists of words written or spoken among two or more people for a specific purpose. In an evangelical faith community, like the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, theological conversations serve a purpose related to the Evangel, the message of good news in Jesus Christ that the Scriptures proclaim. In other words, evangelical theological conversation serves the full and free expr

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Saint Bart's is a church that believes God is calling us into the world — together. As part of this call, we seek the common good for society, provide moral vision and are committed to addressing social and cultural injustices and issues. The ELCA participates in God’s just and loving purpose for all of creation in many different ways, from the daily actions of members as citizens, to efforts in social service, to public witness for justice.

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Bible Study 9:45AM
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BIBLE STUDY

BIBLE STUDY FOR SUNDAY, November 27, 2022

 

Read Matt. 24:36-44

                                                                  Gospel Lesson of the Week 
                                                                       1st Sunday of Advent

 [Jesus said to the disciples] “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels or heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.

 

PRAYER:   Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. By your merciful protection save us from the threatening dangers of our sins, and enlighten our walk in the way of your salvation, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

CONTEXT:  The historical community addressed by this apocalyptic, end-times text is a community caught in the in-between. They are in-between culturally in the tug of war between Jews and Gentiles in the developing Christian faith. Many scholars think that the Gospel of Matthew is addressed to a mixed community in Syria that is trying to hold onto the significance of Jewish heritage in the aftermath of a rupture between the synagogue and the church. So, the original hearers of this text are trying to understand how to follow Jesus in way that embraces his new teachings without abandoning what they already know.

They are also in-between eschatologically – which means in their understanding of how God is acting in human history to bring about God’s kingdom. The Gospel of Matthew presents an understanding of two ages. One is the current age. According to one summary I read this week, this age is marked by “idolatry, sin, injustice, exploitation, sickness, enmity between nature and humankind, violence, and death,” (an assessment that is perhaps all too familiar). This contrasts with the new age that will cure all of these ills in the perfect rule of God.  The Matthean community is waiting expectantly for this second age, and maybe getting a bit tired of waiting.

It is in this in-between context that the Christian community is called to actively hope; to engage – both with contrasting cultural expectations, and with the brokenness of the world – and to engage in a way that is informed by the unfailing expectation that God is acting to bring about the redemption of the world. In the context of “a conflict zone between the ages”, the community is called to keep living faithfully as Jesus taught them to live.

 

Gospel Reflection Questions

  1. How do you understand the season of Advent, and the traditional warnings we hear on this Sunday to “keep awake” or “keep alert”?

  2. What are you looking for as Advent begins, and how do your own life and faith practices change at this time of year?

  3. Do you see a “shape” to human history or not? If you believe either that the world is getting better or getting worse, how does your faith inform your understanding?

  4. Our Advent 1 confession begins with these words: “God of new beginnings …”  What do you make of this phrase?

ADVENT
2022 NEWSLETTER
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