Lent & Advent

Advent 2020 – December 19

Jim Hopkins

December 17, 2020

What a Concept!
Mariel Paul
(Ms. Mariel Paul is a member of Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church who is a mental health therapist and avid A’s fan who believes that acknowledgement leads to empowerment)

Isaiah 52:7-10 (NRSV)

7How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
    who announces salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
    together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
    the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
    you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
    he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm
    before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
    the salvation of our God.

When reading this scripture several key words and phrases stick out: “good news”, “together they sing for joy” and “comforted his people.”

When I hear of good news, I automatically think of the questions: When was the last time I heard good news? Is “good news” always amplified as it should be? And while I mull over this, my mind then begins to wander to the phrases “together they sing for joy” and “comforted his people.” When will we all be together? When will we sing in the same space? When will we receive that comfort that we all seek and deserve?

 Christmas is a time of joy, a time of celebration, and a time of hope. Hope is something we look for, and hold onto. But why do we as humans look at life through binaries? When will the news realize that the world is grieving for more than one reason and give us a break?

Why do we focus on the future or past when we can live in the now?

This scripture reminds me that yes, Christmas is arriving and all of the hope that Jesus brings to us, AND that we also have a little bit of hope each day too…and that is something I want to challenge myself to do. Live in the now, validate my feelings knowing that each day is different, and remain hopeful to the best of my abilities.

Mindfulness and religion…what a wonderful concept!

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” (Master Oogway from the movie, “Kung Fu Panda”)

LABC Zoom Gatherings

LABC Youth Group – 7:00 p.m. Monday

No Soup, But Study – 6:00 p.m. Tuesday

LABC Church Council Meeting – 7:00 p.m. Tuesday

Wednesday Prayer and Bible Study – 10:30 a.m.

Together in Spirit – 6:00 p.m. Thursday

A Time for Prayer – 10:00 a.m. Saturday

LABC Sunday Worship – 10:00 a.m. Sunday

This afternoon at 1:00, Friends of Negro Spirituals Christmas Event, “Rise Up Shepherd and Follow”
Via ZOOM: Meeting ID: 819 5017 4164; Passcode: 891429; One tap mobile +16699006833