“The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw”…
How do you see a word? As God’s People entering the season of Advent, these are some of the first words of Scripture we hear proclaimed in worship together (Isaiah chapter 2). I view them as an invitation for us to pay attention to what this season of waiting and preparation calls to see.
In the first week of Advent (Nov. 27), Prophet Isaiah casts a vision in which weapons are turned into gardening tools. Coupled with Matthew 24, “Therefore…be ready, for the Son of Humanity is coming at an unexpected hour”, it seems that this call to be ready is connected with working for peace and justice. What might that mean? Do you see what God is up to?
The second week of Advent (Dec 4) proclaims hope via Isaiah 11: “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots,” and leads into the call from John the Baptizer in Matthew’s Gospel: “Prepare the way of the Lord!” Whose voices are calling us to grow new shoots from our dead stumps? What might that mean? Do you see what God is up to?
Advent 3 (Dec 11) opens to us Isaiah 35: “God will come and save you! …The eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped; the lame shall leap…the tongue of the speechless will sing for joy.” Matthew’s Gospel names this as the promised Reign of God that arrives in and through Jesus. In what ways are we unable to see, hear, move, speak, celebrate? What might that mean? Do you see what God is up to?
And finally, the last week of Advent (Dec 18) leads us right into the reality of God’s presence amidst humanity, made known in all the limitedness and wonder of our human bodies. The hope of God’s deliverance and liberation is found in “God who is with us”, Emmanuel. If God is with “us”, who, exactly, is “us”? What might that mean? Do you see what God is up to?
May this Advent season and its culmination in Christmas uncover something new for you, for us, and for our world.
Christmas Eve Worship
Two services are offered on December 24th: 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Both feature festive Christmas music with a candlelight sending.
Children’s Christmas Program
The annual Children’s Christmas Program will be Sunday, December 18th at 9:15 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall at Mount Olive. All are welcome!
The sign outside of Mount Olive says, “Visitors Expected!” We mean this. We expect YOU, whether you are a new resident to Rochester, or you’ve been here for years, or you are just visiting. We have a completely accessible facility for physically-challenged folks. We are open and welcoming to people of all creeds, beliefs, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. We believe that God has called us to this ministry of hospitality and we welcome guests every weekend. Consider yourself invited.
We are also an unapologetically Lutheran community of faith. This means that our theology is centered in the life and death of Jesus Christ. This means that we are part of a long line of historic churches who celebrate infant baptism and weekly Holy Communion. This means that the Word of God is the norm and basis for our life together. We are also a part of one particular group of Lutherans – the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and through this group we are networked with thousands of other congregations, mission sites, social service agencies, and educational institutions that live out the faith of Jesus Christ in similar ways.
We would love to have you join us for worship on a weekend. Our communion table is open to all as God draws you. Please come and introduce yourself, stay for coffee and fellowship afterwards, and get to know us better. We believe Christ calls each person, of every age and situation, to some kind of ministry. We also believe that our lives are enriched when we do ministry together. YOU are welcome to explore YOUR calling in this community of God’s people.