This coming Sunday, December 2, is the first Sunday of Advent 2012. Our Advent theme this year is “With The Voice of Angels.” On the four Sundays of Advent and on Christmas Eve the Scripture readings will include words spoken by an angel to a human being. These words are the basis of our preparation for the birth of Jesus this year. This Sunday we will consider the message of the angel to the priest Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, found in Luke 1; 5-25, “Your prayer has been heard.”
Like many topics in the Bible, the theology, understanding and role of angels undergoes much change and development over the approximately 1,000 years in which the books of the Bible were written. In the oldest writings angels are semi-divine beings which communicate the very presence of God, they are direct representatives of a Divine Council. As time goes by the angels are given names, take on more human characteristics, and function more as messengers for God than as ambassadors.
Speaking personally, the reality and existence of angels remains a topic of discussion for faith communities in 2012. I like to think that there is room in Christianity for those who understand angels to be literal beings and those who understand them to be symbols of God’s commitment to be in loving communication with humanity. Thus, my main concern this season is not to articulate a definitive understanding of angels but to highlight the signficance of the words found on their lips, to pay significant attention to the role of the voice of angels in story of Christmas.
Prayers of the Congregation
- Leona Sims at home, outpatient chemotherapy and radiation
- Thanksgiving for the work of our Hunger Task Force, both looking back at Thanksgiving and forward to our Adopt A Family ministry
- All who are traveling
- All who are grieving
- Waltee Douglas for health and healing
- Rowena Jackson for a family friend
- A just peace in the Middle East
- A just financial plan for the United States
- Karen Hopkins for her brother Jeff and family
- All who experience the holidays as a time of loneliness and reminder of loss
- Sandra Dunn for her dad
- Chuck Johnston for his dad
- Tyrone Mack and family as they deal with the theft of his daughter’s car
- Kay Baxter for Jamie and Stacey
- Carolyn Person for Hershael Vinson
- Sybil Alexander and family
- Zondra Martin and family
- Ann Fields and family
- Tess Benin for the Bernaquilo family and for Glen Ferguson
- Jeanne Robinson for her sister in law Carol who is terminally ill
- Evan Joachim as he cares for his ailing canine companion
- Katrina Lau for her mother who is recuperating from surgery
- Rae Rita Thompson for her dad
- Parkes and Kathy Johnson as they care for Kathy’s mom
Call it Hanging of the Greens or call it Advent Decorating, it is happening after church this Sunday and the help of many is both needed and appreciated. Stone Soup will be served so bring vegetable for the soup.
Singing the Season, a beautiful program of music and the spoken word will be held in the Sanctuary of Oakland First Baptist Church (22nd and Telegraph) on Saturday afternoon, December 8, at 3:00.