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Advent 2023 - the Revised Common Lectionary

Red Couch Theology Podcast

Sermon Conversations with Alex and Aaron

There’s only so much we can cover in a Sunday morning gathering!
Each week, you’re invited to tune into our podcast at 11 am on Thursdays – recorded (and sometimes prerecorded) for later, online viewing.

What can you expect? Pastors Alex, Aaron and the occasional guest, having a casual conversation diving deeper into ideas related to last Sunday’s teaching.

Ask questions about the sermon series, Advent – The Revised Common Lectionary


“Him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospelRomans 16:25

It is preferred that questions be sent through
https://redcouchtheology.com/  


FYI: Texting is to be discontinued for asking questions
for consideration on the podcasts.

Blog sites:

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCWnNSTN-6XA7oYy6TBfS0LAxqxPvxVjH

Apple Podcast:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/guys-drinking-tea/id1616539767

Red Couch Theology Podcast2023-12-18T15:01:19-07:00

Advent 2023, December 28

Introduction: For hundreds of years many Christian traditions have read passages of scripture using a tool called a lectionary. This Advent season our devotional team decided to resource you with selections from the Revised Common Lectionary. You will encounter texts from the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament as well as formal prayers. Each text has been selected to build anticipation for the coming of Christ – the Light of the World – amid the dark, cold days of winter. Reflect on the first coming of Christ while yearning for his second coming.

Note. If you desire to read these passages in a different version of the Bible, this link will provide all the readings for week 4 in Bible Gateway where you may also choose other versions of these passages.)

Luke 1:26-38

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Source: Year B – Advent : Revised Common Lectionary


This is such a wonderful story!! There are many things that jump out at me, but I want to point out two:

The angel announces to Mary that NO WORD from God will EVER fail!! What an amazing promise! And it isn’t just pretty words. It is Truth!! Stand on it!! If God said it, it’s going to happen!

Secondly, we ought to do our very best to emulate Mary as she responds to the angel’s pronouncements. Mary is a teen, and not a grad of Jerusalem U. She has to be bewildered. The angel has told Mary something that in the scheme of things is outrageous. A virgin birth? Her response is the same one we all ought  to model:

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Just Wow!! Just Wonderful!!

Advent 2023, December 282023-12-18T14:57:33-07:00

Advent 2023, December 27

Introduction: For hundreds of years many Christian traditions have read passages of scripture using a tool called a lectionary. This Advent season our devotional team decided to resource you with selections from the Revised Common Lectionary. You will encounter texts from the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament as well as formal prayers. Each text has been selected to build anticipation for the commmmmmmmmmLight of the World – amid the dark, cold days of winter. Reflect on the first coming of Christ while yearning for his second coming.

Note. If you desire to read these passages in a different version of the Bible, this link will provide all the readings for week 4 in Bible Gateway where you may also choose other versions of these passages.)

 

Romans 16:25-27

“Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith — to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”

 

Source: Year B – Advent : Revised Common Lectionary

There are those words and actions that come at the end of things. I went to a high school basketball game tonight, and at the end of the fourth quarter, the horn sounded and the game was over. We won!! Hallelujah!! But if we are not careful, that word “Amen” can be just like the horn. At dinner, the Amen at the end of the prayer signals it is time to eat. At church, the Amen of the benediction can often be followed by families rushing to beat each other to a favorite restaurant for Sunday dinner. Too easily, the significance of the word Amen can be lost in the rush. Outside of the gospels themselves, I am not sure there is a more impactful book in the Bible than the Book of Romans. And how does it end? “Amen”. Which means “SO BE IT”!! As we move into a new calendar year, I will seek to make those wonderful truths of Romans evident in my life. How about you?

“So Be It“  (-B

Advent 2023, December 272023-12-18T14:41:24-07:00

Advent 2023, December 26

Introduction: For hundreds of years many Christian traditions have read passages of scripture using a tool called a lectionary. This Advent season our devotional team decided to resource you with selections from the Revised Common Lectionary. You will encounter texts from the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament as well as formal prayers. Each text has been selected to build anticipation for the coming of Christ – the Light of the World – amid the dark, cold days of winter. Reflect on the first coming of Christ while yearning for his second coming.

Note. If you desire to read these passages in a different version of the Bible, this link will provide all the readings for week 4 in Bible Gateway where you may also choose other versions of these passages.)

Luke 1:46-55

“And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is his name.

His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” 

Source: Year B – Advent : Revised Common Lectionary

Unfathomable Joy

I could probably write 10,001 words about what is happening here and still have words left over. Let me leave it at this. Mary is a “newbie” mom, and a mom literally like no other. She travels to visit Elizabeth, and her mind is likely “all over everywhere”: Happiness. Fear. And a million others. Is this even real?

And then arriving at Elizabeth’s home, the baby John leaps in the womb, and Elizabeth explodes with joy at Mary and her baby’s presence. There are no more questions. This is real. The burden of uncertainty is lifted. Mary is filled with a joy beyond measure. The result is today’s passage, and Mary’s soliloquy. As we move beyond Christmas, claim that same joy for yourself.  Jesus IS real!!

Advent 2023, December 262023-12-18T14:35:22-07:00

Advent 2023, Christmas

Introduction: For hundreds of years many Christian traditions have read passages of scripture using a tool called a lectionary. This Advent season our devotional team decided to resource you with selections from the Revised Common Lectionary. You will encounter texts from the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament as well as formal prayers. Each text has been selected to build anticipation for the coming of Christ – the Light of the World – amid the dark, cold days of winter. Reflect on the first coming of Christ while yearning for his second coming.

Note. If you desire to read these passages in a different version of the Bible, this link will provide all the readings for week 4 in Bible Gateway where you may also choose other versions of these passages.)

2 Samuel 7:1-11,16

After the king [David] was settled in his palace and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet,
“Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”

Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the LORD is with you.”

But that night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying:

“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar? ”’

“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

“‘The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you”.

Source: Year B – Advent : Revised Common Lectionary

As we celebrate the birth of our savior, it is far too easy to miss the miles and miles, and eons and eons of time that have transpired since God started us on this path long ago in the Garden. In today’s passage, Nathan is reminding us of God’s faithfulness. The LORD stuck by David through thick and thin. And he continues to do the same for us. And those promises culminated for all of us on this wonderful day!!

Isaiah 9:6

“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Advent 2023, Christmas2023-12-18T14:09:47-07:00

Red Couch Theology Podcast

Sermon Conversations with Alex and Aaron

There’s only so much we can cover in a Sunday morning gathering!
Each week, you’re invited to tune into our podcast at 11 am on Thursdays – recorded (and sometimes prerecorded) for later, online viewing.

What can you expect? Pastors Alex, Aaron and the occasional guest, having a casual conversation diving deeper into ideas related to last Sunday’s teaching.

Ask questions about the sermon series, Advent – The Revised Common Lectionary


In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them”  

It is preferred that questions be sent through
https://redcouchtheology.com/  


FYI: Texting is to be discontinued for asking questions
for consideration on the podcasts.

Blog sites:

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCWnNSTN-6XA7oYy6TBfS0LAxqxPvxVjH

Apple Podcast:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/guys-drinking-tea/id1616539767 

Red Couch Theology Podcast2023-12-17T14:49:57-07:00

Advent 2023, December 21

Introduction: For hundreds of years many Christian traditions have read passages of scripture using a tool called a lectionary. This Advent season our devotional team decided to resource you with selections from the Revised Common Lectionary. You will encounter texts from the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament as well as formal prayers. Each text has been selected to build anticipation for the coming of Christ – the Light of the World – amid the dark, cold days of winter. Reflect on the first coming of Christ while yearning for his second coming.

Note. If you desire to read these passages in a different version of the Bible, this link will provide all the readings for week 3 in Bible Gateway where you may also choose other versions of these passages.)

 

John 1:6-8

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.
He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

 

John 1:19-28

Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.
He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”

Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us.
What do you say about yourself?”

John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet,
“I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him,
“Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

“I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know.
He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Source: Year B – Advent : Revised Common Lectionary

Advent 2023, December 212023-12-17T14:32:40-07:00

Advent 2023, December 20

Introduction: For hundreds of years many Christian traditions have read passages of scripture using a tool called a lectionary. This Advent season our devotional team decided to resource you with selections from the Revised Common Lectionary. You will encounter texts from the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament as well as formal prayers. Each text has been selected to build anticipation for the coming of Christ – the Light of the World – amid the dark, cold days of winter. Reflect on the first coming of Christ while yearning for his second coming.

Note. If you desire to read these passages in a different version of the Bible, this link will provide all the readings for week 3 in Bible Gateway where you may also choose other versions of these passages.)

 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-25

Rejoice always,
pray continually,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all;
hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.
May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Brothers and sisters, pray for us.

Source: Year B – Advent : Revised Common Lectionary

Advent 2023, December 202023-12-17T13:54:52-07:00

Advent 2023, Decmber 19

Introduction: For hundreds of years many Christian traditions have read passages of scripture using a tool called a lectionary. This Advent season our devotional team decided to resource  you with selections from the Revised Common Lectionary. You will encounter texts from the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament as well as formal prayers. Each text has been selected to build anticipation for the coming of Christ – the Light of the World – amid the dark, cold days of winter. Reflect on the first coming of Christ while yearning for his second coming.

Note. If you desire to read these passages in a different version of the Bible, this link will provide all the readings for week 3 in Bible Gateway where you may also choose other versions of these passages.)

Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is his name.

His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

Source: Year B – Advent : Revised Common Lectionary

This lovely picture of Mary is called
“Red Magnificat” by Frank Wesley

Advent 2023, Decmber 192023-12-17T14:02:01-07:00

Advent 2023 – December 18

Introduction: For hundreds of years many Christian traditions have read passages of scripture using a tool called a lectionary. This Advent season our devotional team decided to resource you with selections from the Revised Common Lectionary. You will encounter texts from the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament as well as formal prayers. Each text has been selected to build anticipation for the coming of Christ – the Light of the World – amid the dark, cold days of winter. Reflect on the first coming of Christ while yearning for his second coming.

Note. If you desire to read these passages in a different version of the Bible, this link will provide all the readings for week 3 in Bible Gateway where you may also choose other versions of these passages.)

Isaiah 61:1-4

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion —
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

Isaiah 61:8-11

For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. 

Source: Year B – Advent : Revised Common Lectionary

Advent 2023 – December 182023-12-17T14:08:12-07:00
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