“Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
God will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
God will come and save you.’
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf unstopped;
Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
And streams in the desert;
The burning sand shall become a pool,
And the thirsty ground springs of water…
A highway shall be there,
And it shall be called the Holy Way.”
Isaiah 35:3-7a, 8a.
Scripture Reading: Luke 1:46-55
Contemporary Reading: A Litany for Survival - by Audre Lorde
“This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.
That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honour & truth were trampled by scorn –
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.
When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn –
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.”
The Risk of Birth, Christmas, 1973, by Madeleine L’Engle
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 2: 1-5 Matthew 24: 36-44
Contemporary Reading: How the Light Comes by Jan Richardson
“We can’t be expected to leave the unhappy and angry parts of ourselves at the door before coming in. We all need to feel that we can bring the whole of ourselves to the people who care about us.” – Fred Rogers
Scripture Reading: Psalm 46
Contemporary Reading: “I realize that it isn’t very fashionable to talk about some things as being holy; nevertheless, if we ever want to rid ourselves of personal and corporate emptiness, brokenness, loneliness, and fear, we will have to allow ourselves room for that which we cannot see, hear, touch, or control.” – Fred Rogers
“What we would like to do is change the world--make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute…we can, to a certain extent, change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as our friend.” – Dorothy Day
Scripture Reading: Luke 21: 5-19
Contemporary Testimony: Humpbacks - by Mary Oliver
The Rev. Seth Wispelwey
Interim Pastor of Rincon Congregational UCC.