Collective Podcast Sermons for threshold faith communities.

On the heels of the Paris Climate Summit, our final Advent reflection will be one that draws connections between the traditional Christmas stories, and the narratives we tell ourselves about the possibility of unlimited consumption, often believing the lie that there is some magical source of all the things we give and get. Christmas can perpetuate this lie, or it can bathe it in the warm light of truth, and ask us to reconsider unconditional gift-giving, the precious value of limited things, and the way this shapes our life in this world.

With our Advent focus on the pure gift, and unconditional acts of mercy, we'll move this week into the tension of Mary and Martha, of being and doing. We'll explore this story which poses a question about the better way, turn the standard reading in on itself, and refuse to choose one or the other, instead, embracing the unresolved third way.

This week we continue our Advent exploration of the unconditional. From last week's look at unconditional gifts, we look this week at unconditional acts of mercy. We'll enter into the tension of all of the good done in the name of religion, and the propensity religion has to get in its own way, drawing acts of mercy into systems of mercenary economic rewards. Don't miss Mic The Prophet sitting in for the house band, and a shorter service followed immediately by the Christmas party!

This week week we begin our season of intention and preparation, readying ourselves for the celebration of all that Christmas means. We'll begin this season, so often eclipsed by and consumed with the culture of gifts, by exploring the nature of gift giving. At a deeper level, beyond questions of spending and simplicity, we'll open ourselves to the unresolvable paradox of gift, and find in this tension, one of the ways in which God is born in the world.


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