Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Waiting for a Home

The fourth Sunday in Advent continues the theme of "waiting", but this time for a home. The text comes from II Samuel 7:1-16, where David the King, now at peace with all his neighbors and enjoying much prosperity, desires to build a proper Temple for God, after 500 years of worship in a tabernacle (read: tent). But God tells the prophet Nathan to reject the King's offer of an up-grade. God says that he builds the houses for his people, eternally lasting houses.
The rough and rude creche on the altar stands in high contrast to the beauty of the sanctuary, as it should. God continues to refuse being "housed" and, instead, houses us his way.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Staff Christmas Party

Arv and Alice Brommers and Jeanne Michealsen invited the church staff to their homes for an evening of too much laughter, great food and fantastic deserts. We discovered again that we genuinely enjoy hanging around each other. We exchanged silly white elephant gifts which will be recirculated next year.

Waiting for New Clothes

There's nothing like new clothes that fit just right! clothes that fit the occasion and setting, clothes that reflect who you are and how you want to be perceived. On the third Sunday of Advent, Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 promise Israel new clothes. After exile and return, failure and brokenness, God is going to clothe his people with new clothes.
The altarpiece speaks of the clothing over the shepherd's staff and comorting blanket. A garland of praise, wrapped in bright blue entwines the pottery jar. And on top of them all are white baptismal gowns. It echoes the question old John asked during his Revelation (7:13) "Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?" And the answer is "they have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb." So the font stands before the clothing because we need the washing only Jesus' blood can bring.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Waiting for Comfort

"Comfort, comfort ye my people" is the message God gave to Isaiah to bring to Israel in captivity. The heart and essence of God is comfort to a wounded and broken people. The shepherd's staff and the unfurled blanket speak of the comfort a shepherd brings to lost and cold sheep. Behind the altar are the trees, filled with the lights of home and the welcome that home brings to those who have been gone a long time. Advent is a time to welcome people home to church who have been gone for a long time. It's a place where there is tender good news that warfare is over, sins are forgiven and healing is available.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Thank You Lori Coleman

Lori Coleman, a potter for 30 years and regular attender at Montecito Covenant Church just made a gift of four beautiful stone-ware chalices and plates for use in communion services. They are light enough to be held by one person and complement the stone chancel and clay tiles of the roof.
MCC is a blessed congregation with so many gifted and talented friends. The new communion-ware will be used Sunday December 3.