Posted in CtK Life, Living a Life of Faith

Advent is coming…EARLY!

Advent is coming to Christ the King Lutheran Church early this year! Two weeks early in fact – beginning on November 14th! But why?

Simply put, sometimes trying new things means going back to old traditions and patterns. That’s right, Advent hasn’t always been 4 neat weeks. In fact it has ranged from 3 weeks to 6 weeks, to 40 days (a parallel to Lent that is still practiced by most Orthodox Christians.) “In the early centuries of the church, the length of Advent varied; sometimes it was three weeks, sometimes six or seven, sometimes forty days…The longer Advent was sometimes called “St. Martin’s Lent” because it begins with St. Martin’s feast day, which generally falls one week after All Saints.” (My Heart Shall Sing – Extended Advent Orientation by Barn Geese Worship is licensed under CC-BY-NC 4.0)

And if you haven’t noticed, there aren’t many things that are still happening “the way they always have.” It’s been a hard 20 months with so many things swirling, changing, stopping, re-starting – yet amidst that movement, that change, God is still present. God is present in the endings, in the beginnings, and in the times in-between. That is why the series, My Heart Shall Sing: An Advent series about endings and beginnings (Barn Geese Worship) connected with me.

The creators of the series write,

“The world is always ending somewhere.

It is always beginning somewhere, too…perhaps right in the same place.

This is a truth that thumps like a heartbeat beneath the rhythms of the Advent season. In early November, our lectionary readings begin to speak openly of a world that ends. The lectionary year itself dies a few weeks later, only to begin again on the same topic: endings, and the new beginnings they create…

…So what shall we do in this season, as the texts draw us deeper into revelation, deeper into endings, deeper into new beginning ushered in by Christ’s advent?

We shall sing.”

(My Heart Shall Sing – Welcome to “My Heart Shall Sing” by Barn Geese Worship is licensed under CC-BY-NC 4.0)

So let us sing…let our hearts sing as we look at the endings and closings in our lives, while leaning into the births and openings during this season of Advent, as we lean into the promise of Jesus, the promise that he will come again. And may we do so with song, with joy, with reflection, with silence, with all that we are now and all that is yet to be.

Advent is coming…

To learn more about this series and its creators go to: https://barngeeseworship.com/

Posted in Living a Life of Faith

A Pastoral Word

Dear Siblings in Christ,

January 6, 2021 was a sad and scary day in our nation’s history – as mobs of rioters swarmed and illegally entered our nation’s Capital Building during a time when our elected officials were doing the work we elected them to do. Much of this mob mentality was stirred by leaders in the highest positions in our government; while many of us sat in front of our tvs, connecting to websites, and checking in on print media not truly believing that this was really happening. We lament this vicious attack – the destruction, the fear, the injury and the loss of life. We lament the loss of trust in our institutions, in our community, and even among each other – the very goal of this act of terrorism.

There is a lot of concern, confusion, fear, and division in our country right now. This is not who we are called to be. As people of faith we are called to do justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8) in all areas of our lives. This means that we are called to be a part of bringing about justice, healing, and wholeness within our nation and beyond – for all people. And that begins not in silence but in prayer.

We pray for the families of the people who have died in this act of terrorism. We pray for the safety of all lawmakers and staff, for the public safety officers, for journalists, and for the people living in the immediate areas. We pray for swift and transparent action on the part of lawmakers and law enforcement. We pray for the peacemakers and justice workers on the ground, as they continue to work for a safe and open government for all. We pray for families and communities that are divided. We pray that we – individually and collectively – will own our own part in this, and commit to work toward the peace and justice that we are called to by God.

In the Rite of Affirmation of Baptism (which we will share together on January 17th) we are asked if we intend to continue in the covenant God made with us in holy baptism: to live among God’s faithful people, to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper, to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth? As we seek to process what has taken place and how we take the next steps, may we remember this call and respond loudly saying, “We do, and we ask God to help and guide us.”

May we turn and reflect the love and justice of God.
~ Pastor Kim