Give Thanks, Lose Sleep

11.27.20 | by Rev Dave Buerstetta

This time of year, how often have you had this exchange: 

“Happy Thanksgiving!”

“You mean, ‘Happy New Year!’”

“What?! No, it’s ‘Happy Thanksgiving!’”

“Thanksgiving is past, now it’s ‘Happy New Year!’ time.”

“What are you talking about?? It isn’t even December yet!”

“Ah, true, however, this is the start of Advent — and thus the first day of the new year…on the church season calendar.”

“No one likes a smart aleck.” 

Happens all the time, right?? 

Seriously though, so often this week feels like an odd juxtaposition: we’re still thinking about Thanksgiving — and even still enjoying the leftovers. But so much of the culture around us has already jumped ahead to Christmas Day. Meanwhile, here at church, this Sunday is the beginning of Advent which is also the beginning of the new liturgical year wherein we anticipate the Incarnation at Christmas but aren’t there yet. Can we hold all these realities in tension? 

To be honest, our textual guides this week don’t exactly scream Advent: in Isaiah 64 it seems to be arty, crafty time as God is compared to a potter molding clay. Over in the gospels, we’ve jumped to the middle of Mark 13 for…parables about a fig tree and a guy taking a trip? We can’t even hardly leave our houses right now — what does this have to do with anything? 

Turns out, Mark’s gospel has some advice worth heeding that we could call apocalyptic pastoral care. What might that be? When might that be? Just how much waiting can be expected of us? Why is Jesus so determined to keep us awake? 

Pastor Dave will consider these questions and more this Sunday, November 29th, in his sermon, “Give Thanks, Lose Sleep.” 

Worship with us Sunday at 10:00AM on our Woodridge UMC channel on YouTube.

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