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407: UPDATE Advent 2B (12/6/2020)

by Eric Fistler
December 1st 2020
00:53:20
good morning Pulp Fiction fans before we start the show. Today's show is, uh, actually one that we recorded it back in 2017 last time. This was through the cycle with one very important update. Brian Bodine is our voice in the wilderness this week. Very excited to have Brian with us and Ryan. Odin is also are closing song as well. So when you hear me say that the closing song is Paul and Storm, it's not. It's Brian Odin's great song that he put together for us and also again our voice in the wildernesses. Brian Odeen. We hope that all of us stateside had a happy Thanksgiving and wish you all ah, wonderful and hopeful, uh, second week of admin. You are listening to the pulpit fiction podcast for those who look up Ezekiel 25 17, and we're sorely disappointed. Hello and welcome to the Pulp Fiction podcast Election Eri Podcast

For preachers, seekers and Bible geeks, this is Episode 200 49 for Sunday, December 10th 2017, The second Sunday of Advent and Year B. Today, our voice in the wilderness is coming to us from Katie's A. She'll talk about second Peter. Chapter three Verses, eight Through 15. We'll dig into Mark. Chapter one Verses one through eight As we've got a little John the Baptist it is Advent after all. Richard Rexford Collagen is gonna bring a Psalm 85 then we'll movinto Isaiah, Chapter 40 versus one through 11. I am Rob McCoy, United Methodist pastor here in Rock Island, Illinois, and I'm joined, as always, by my good friend and co host, Eric Fisher. How you doing, Eric? I'm good. Yeah, we're really getting into the thick of it. Kind of jumping into, um, Advent and the Advent season, and I'm excited for it. It's I thought that this extra week was gonna be a good thing. Like, we've got this weird week between the beginning of Advent and Thanksgiving in Christ the King. Sunday, Uh, it's really just throwing

me off my game like it's weird. I'm just anxious about having a 21 day advent. Um, it's just it's throwing me off. I dont I thought I would like it. I don't like it, Not a fan. Yeah, it's super short advent this year. I mean, we it just doesn't feel off. I mean, I was happy because it gave me a chance to take a week off and not have to take a week off in Advent. They dont like taking off, you know, an advent And, um but other than that, and I think it's just gonna it's gonna just feel very turn, Kate ID. I mean, you can't help it feel that way. We're literally e mean in our church. We're having Advent the fourth Sunday of Advent at 9. 30 and then coming back at six and having Christmas Eve. So it's gonna be it's ah, it's gonna feel odd, I think. And, you know, it's not something that I've experienced in my, you know, as a clergy, which is weird. Yeah, just a little strange. I don't know how often this happens. I don't know because I haven't been pastor that long

, but I feel like I've been enough that this should have happened already. This can't be the first time that Christmas Eve is on a Sunday, but no, I think it happens every What is that? Every seven years, 77 years or so? Maybe I was an associate the last time. I just didn't pay that much attention to it. I don't know. Yeah, I don't know when The last time it was and then are you guys doing? You guys were doing stuff that morning, right? Is that it? Is that right? Yeah. I mean, we're having our regular 9 30 service. You know, we always have one service on Sunday mornings, and we're just calling it the fourth Sunday of Advent. And then we're going to come back for the evening for our Christmas Eve service, right? Yeah. So Yep. That's what we're doing. We've got four. So we've got our usual three, and then we'll have that one instead of doing to services. We're just gonna do it on one service, so that'll be kind of, uh, interesting. We're doing our morning. We're gonna be the fourth. Yeah, well, the fourth city of Advent that morning, And then we'll do Christmas Eve that night. I know a lot of people moved it up. They just said, Like, we're just gonna start advent a week early, which is weird, because I was like, You can't do that like it's not advent. I

thought I thought who's made like his advent made for the churches like how bound should be about the liturgical calendar. We even had the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so it didn't even feel that strange. Right? Right. You could vary. There's something about having Thanksgiving and then moving into Advent, but and totally could affect. We thought about doing that. Yeah, I did. Not to liturgy nuts, right? No, you can. I'm like, Okay, I didn't feel that strongly about it, so I was gonna find him over. You're feeling it one way or the other. Yeah, I was just kind of a weird sort of sort of thing. So the last time, by the way this happened was Christmas Eve was on a Sunday was in 2006. So we were in seminary. Yeah. Wow, That has been It's been a while. That's why we didn't care. Because there wasn't a pastor at that point. That's probably Oh, my gosh. I should know that I proposed to Nina that morning. I should know that. That would be a good thing for me to know. I remember that day. Yeah, that's crazy. Remember? Clearly, I remember it clearly

. Yeah, she said yes. Anyway, well, let's just listen to know she never listens um, she just thinks I'm a Bible nerd. All right, let's jump into the show. Katie's AIDS coming to us with a Knauss, um, voice in the wilderness on Second Peter 38 through 15, you can find more of her great stuff at Katie Zey. That's K A T e y z e h dot com. Also Katie's on Twitter and Instagram. Katie's A as well from the stage of the Paramount Theater in Hollywood. Pet free wine brings you with force in the world with Yeah, okay, Hello, My name is Brian Odin, and I'm a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, serving at our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Sausage, Iowa. The voice in the wilderness today comes to

us from Second Peter, Chapter three versus eight through 15 A. And as he approaches the end of his letter, Peter encourages his readers to remain faithful, not lose hope. And as we've heard so much in the past weeks to remain faithful in a big way, Peter here is trying to answer the question. What now? His short letter is full of encouragement to remain faithful, to resist false teaching and a reminder of the impending coming of God. So what now? Well, now, according to Peter, quote while you are waiting for these things strive to be found by him at peace without spot or blemish, and regard the patience off our Lord as salvation and quote for Peter. Just as we are working to be patient with God's return, God is exercising patients and salvation with us. Peter is writing to a group of people who are waiting

to. They believe Christ is returning soon and Christians are still waiting. We're waiting for the return of Christ toe usher in the kingdom he so often hinted at and described in his parables. And this is especially poignant for us who are working to exercise patients now, maybe more than any other point of our lives. Waiting is hard, and these days were made. We're waiting for more than advance we've seen in the past. We're waiting to see our congregations again, waiting for a vaccine, waiting for people to heal from the physical, psychological and spiritual traumas of our time. And, of course, waiting for the ever elusive normal to return. We're doing a lot of waiting. And yet, in terms of advent, we also trust that while we wait, we're already seeing some of the promised return play out. Christ has come, and Christ shows up in so many small

, radiant ways as people step up to care for each other in whatever ways they can in the voice at the other end of a telephone, in the hands that serve and nursing homes and hospitals and those preparing food for sick neighbors in those delivering mail and those who have used their time and anxious energy to build others up, we see the work of Christ here in the end, as we strive to be at peace. As Peter encourages us, we practice patients with each other, and with God we wait. God waits, and in the end, whenever and however that ISS, we will know that the result was worth the wait. So hold on, family, things will get better, your loved and you're not for gotten again. Thanks for listening. My name is Brian Odin, and I've taken a much needed step back from social media. But if you're looking to hear some my music, you can follow my Facebook profile

or look up my name in your streaming service of choice. Peace, my friends, and may your advent season help you see clearly what we've been waiting so long to find. The pulpit fiction podcast is brought to you this in every week by so many of you amazing listeners who into pulpit fiction dot com and click on Donate to help support the show. There is no amount which is too small, as low as a $3 donation, and you can even become a sustaining donor, which gives a little bit each and every month again, starting at $3 and going up until the sky is the limit. That helps us provide a show for you

each and every week on the Election Aires, and also to provide those commentaries and interviews each and every month with phenomenal authors like Walter Brueggemann, Diana Butler, Bass, Nadia Bolz, Weber, Rachel Held, Evans and so many more. We love doing it, providing this free for so many of you who are serving churches, but we definitely need your support. So please go over to pulpit fiction dot com and thick on donate right there to help support the show and consider being a sustaining member. We're so grateful to so many of you who have already given again. That's pulpit fiction dot com and click donate Very few comparatively know what is the gospel of Jesus Christ? Good news, everyone. Theo, Good news this week comes to us from the Gospel of Mark finally kicking off with your B. I feel like last week was kind of like a misnomer, so let's start a proper

mark. Chapter one versus one through eight. This is the common English Bible, the beginning of the new good news about Jesus Christ. God's Son happened. Just a zit was written about in the prophecy of Isaiah. Look, I'm sending my messenger before you. He will prepare your way. Ah, voice shine. Shouting in the wilderness. Prepare the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight. John the Baptist was in the wilderness calling for people to be baptized, to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins. Everyone in Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went out to the Jordan River and were baptized by John as they confessed their sins. John wore clothes made of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist. He ate Locusts and wild honey. He announced one stronger than I is coming after me. I'm not worthy to bend over and loosen the strap of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Alright, so nothing says Advent like a little John the Baptist, right? I mean, this is it. This is the heart of of preparing

for Jade Christmas. We jump in with Mark saying I'm come to prepare, prepare the way of the Lord, and I can't hear this without hearing. Um, you know Godspell, which is that great? The you know, the movie where they have the they he blows his shofar and they all that pulls people out of just like, everyday life, you know, just walking down the streets of New York City and they all meet in the fountain. Uh, I'm not sure. I wonder if it's the same fountain is the beginning of friends. E bet it iss I don't know, but anyway, e was reading that. I guess they did a revival of Godspell where they had where it starts with, like, this little drip of water and then it slowly turns into, like, a waterfall in the middle of the stage, which is kind of cool. Um, but yeah. I mean, here it is. Prepare you the way of the Lord, and there's that great song. I mean, there's just there's so much you could do with with just that that

alone just prepare the way of the Lord. I mean, moving forward from that, there's just so much you can dio. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And, um, I mean, I think that you know both of this, and I will see you later passage to There's a lot of kind of quotable, quotable things and just that beginning piece. You know, I always think Rob Bell does a, you know, when we talked with him about his book, you know, really hits this piece in the head. You know, this, uh, even Gillian, right? The good news and really unpacking that piece of what is that? You know, what does that mean to be, um, you and Gillian, right? And and to be the good news to bear the good news. And, uh um, I always whenever I read this Now it's one of those pieces that stuck because he, um He does the whole piece where he talks about this and kind of unpacks what that was and how that idea of. Right. So that's where we get that word. Evangelize, right? Thio bear the good news, the beginning of the good news, that first verse and that that was that, actually, what was a common word that was used? The U and jelly And the good news was often used is the good news of Rome. Right

? So when Rome conquered Germany, they would tell everybody This is the good news. This is the u. N. Gillian. We have conquered Rome, right? This is the U. N s. So the u. N Gillian was like a like the message of Might and of the pox Ramana in the concrete. Right? And to think that Mark right, arguably the most traumatized community out of any of the gospel writers, right? I mean, right, coming right in the midst of of the latest you and Gillian from the Roman Empire would have been like, good news. Rome destroyed the Jews, right? We destroyed the temple Massive diaspora massacre at, uh or, you know, mass suicide overwhelming at Masada, right? So we have this destruction, the temple, this horrible thing, right? That would have been the good news from Rome. And in response to that good news, it's so interesting that Mark starts Mark's gospel with This is the beginning of a U. N Gillian, about Jesus Christ, God's son, where people have been like what? Or what

? Like what do you like? And it's this idea of like, the whole ah, good news that you could never have anticipated, like, this is gonna be different than anything you've imagined. Yeah, well, and at the same time, it's different than anything you could imagine. But right away calls back to Isaiah, right? Uh, so it's this new thing. This is good news. That's happening. And it's and we need to prepare. But it's straight out of Isaiah, which is the, you know, right out of Isaiah 40. Which, of course, or is it 40? Um, shoot. I forget where we're, but he's calling back to what we're gonna Is it the same text that we're gonna look at later? We're gonna look at later. Yeah, which is exile Text correct. Post exile text. Eso like so here. So there it is like It's a new thing that's never been done before, except for the other times when it's been done and connecting it to the past

and using that connection to the past as a way to point to the future, right? I mean, and that's this is what advent is. This is. I mean, the whole idea of Advent is connecting something to the path, something that's already happened but connecting it to the future of what is yet to be. And so when we're talking about preparing the way for the good news, preparing the way for the Lord, it's were preparing something that's already happened. But we're also preparing for the future. A swell. And that's the great paradox of Advent that I think, you know, you just can't belabor that too much because this is this is it's not just about preparing for Christmas and the birth of a child is preparing for the kingdom and and pressing what that means. And for for John the Baptist, this preparing for the kingdom, it's all about repentance, and it's that changing your hearts

and minds and this is where we've talked a lot about the common English how it never uses that word. Repent, because Repent is has all sorts of baggage on it. Now it's got all sorts of religious baggage. When John the Baptist says, um, you know, when when he talks about when he's preaching, he's proclaiming a baptism of repentance and the forgiveness of sins. It's not just about saying you're sorry. It's not just about confession, although that is part of it, all right? I mean, there is confession here, but it's it's declaring that things were going to be different. It's that my heart and life, my whole perspective on things, is going to be different from from now on. And that's a much different understanding, then, when we usually think of as well, even Christmas. I mean, we think of Christmas is just this nice time of year where everybody's a little bit nicer to each other. But really, it's all about just sort of making

sure we've got, you know, the right games or the right, you know, toys. You know, however, you wanted to find toys, you know it's all about consumerism. But repentance is about changing your attitude, changing your life, changing your heart and moving towards something. The good news, which is much deeper and much more involved than, um then a lot of times people like to talk about or to think about, Um, yeah, I remember when we were at Reminds me when you're a wild goose and Jim Wallace was speaking. Was Jim Wallace or was it William Barber Now? Gosh. Or maybe it was Everyone's going together. You know what? Gosh, e can't remember, but one of the speakers that there could have even been noticed. Um, was it was interesting. They were talking about white privilege. And we're talking about white privilege and all those pieces And one of the things that the Speaker has said was, um I don't want your guilt. Your guilt is useless. Your guilt doesn't do anything. Your guilt

isn't helpful. Um, and so when we talk about white privilege, I don't want to feel guilty about these things. I want you to be transformed by it, right. So I want you to be, uh, you know, and I don't know if they use the word woke right, But I want you to be I want you to be transformed so that you you change these systems that cause that are underlying all of the oppression. Racism that we have guilt won't cause change. But you being aware of it, um, then you can change something. And that's where I feel like where you know, that meta neue is not about like, Okay, so now feel bad about what a horrible, worthless worm you are. No, Metta. Neue is an invitation into change and transformation. And it's on Lee through that transformation that we get to the kingdom of God. Yeah, and eso. This is one of my favorite things about this passage of Mark is the first verse. And there's some different ways that people do this to think about it. Um, the common English

. I think it says this. The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, God's son happened just as it was written about in the prophecy of Isaiah. And then he goes on, Look, I am sending you a messenger before you. He will prepare your way in the new revised it says the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the son of God, period, as it is written in the profit, as I see, I'm sending my messenger ahead of you who will prepare the way. Either way, it's kind of an awkward opening, right? It just says it's not in the beginning. It's not this beautiful, you know, like, you know, Genesis in the beginning. Or John, you know, in the beginning was the word or in the beginning, you know, God said, But it is still this beginning and there's some that claim. And I think I found this in the interpretation. Siri's This was, um I think a a fascinating, um piece. This is Lamar Williamson, who wrote, You know, interpretation, he

says. The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the son of God is the thesis or the title of the entire the title of the entire book, like it's not just the It's not just an awkward way to start the this passage like a lot that you can read. This is this is the beginning part. So here's the introduction, and that's this John guy, right? This is the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ. Is this John who's doing these weird things? But really, this is saying this is the beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, God's son. And that's the title of the whole book. Mhm. So the beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ is then the life and death and resurrection of Jesus, right? The whole gospel is the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ. And of course, Mark is the one that doesn't have much of a resurrection, right? It's the one that it has this open ending open, open ended finale that that your left sort of, you

know, they run off and they're scared. It's an empty tomb, and they don't really know what's happening, which just begs you to start over again, or at least and in another sense of the word it invites. The reader finished the story, and I think this the sort of open under title works with that right, the this gospel, this part that we have written down which, and Mark is the most or all of the four Gospels, right? It's It's the one that's the smallest step between the oral tradition and the written, and there's all sorts of evidence of that, and it's in its style and and it's the demonic that it has, you know, the, you know, different ways. There's devices within it to help you memorize it and stuff like that. Um, but this idea that this is the beginning, that that that the whole story is the introduction and invites you toe press into the idea that Okay, So Jesus was

the beginning of the good news that the community and you listener, you read her. You're the one that's completing the good news. And again, this advent theme of this thing that was started is still going on. This is a It's a deep invitation to be the advent to be the preparation because we're still preparing the way for the Lord. Yes, Jesus came in at Christmas, but we're still preparing the way for the kingdom. And I think that idea that it's such a simple concept that the entire gospel is the beginning of the good news and the life of the followers and even us. We're the ones culminating. And I think that I love that idea. Well, there's often that right. I mean, there's that whole concept of the cyclical version. Yeah, exactly. That. So that you get to the end. What happens? Go back to the beginning. Right? Um, 15. You go back to the beginning. Like what? Should we dio prepare the way for

the Lord, right? I mean, like like they come to the empty tomb. What do we dio go? You know, go back to look, Galilee. I mean, which is basically where this begins arguably a little bit before Galilee. But basically go back to mark one, right and prepare the way of the Lord. So I love that idea that, you know, that that's the That's the sickle like it's both. It's It's an odd thing because it is both a preparation and response. What do we do? What do we do? Toe prepare? The way of the Lord is the same, Like how we prepare for Jesus is also the same way and how we respond to the advent of Jesus. And I think that that dualistic notion it really speaks to advent because the whole thing of Advent is now and futuristic ITT's now, but not yet. It's here, and also so I love that idea of this. Uh, you know, that idea of like this this combination, the beginning of the good news is this whole? It's that that encompassing preparation. Yeah, And don't be afraid to celebrate, right? This is good news, Bond. I think that's the other piece that we forget. Sometimes it's were so caught

up in the prepare, we might forget the celebration. Yeah, and it's okay to celebrate. You know, we had this conversation with, um, Walter Bergman about, you know, Christmas songs in Advent. And I would say a couple years ago, we did this and I think it's totally appropriate in church, especially on this Sunday. We saying deck the halls, right. You don't think of that as a him. But the deck, the halls with boughs of holly and and the idea that we're gonna prepare we're celebrating. This is a festive time, and that's okay. We like it. Doesn't have to be just this time of, uh, you know, Advent could be advent and leave let be lent. And it's not that that repentance and you know, isn't a part of it. But I think you can. Can we spray repentance like we're free to to change? Were free to like to do these things because of Christ because of the incarnation, because of everything that's happened, I

mean, I know we've lost, uh, not to get ahead of things too much, but I just think that sometimes we can forget we could get so caught up in the preparation and in the, you know, that could go a lot of different ways with Christmas. Forget that this is actually a celebration. But sometimes with the preparation, we can get so hung up over the to do lists and the anxiety over that the preparing could be another source of anxiety instead of the preparation is a celebration in itself. Well, Election re brings a Psalm 85 versus one through to and versus eight through 13, and we will hear from Richard Brooks for Culligan. About this, you can follow his work at psalm immersion dot com. Follow him on Twitter at Como Psalmist and go to patryan and support him. Patryan dot com slash richard B c. Thank you, gentlemen. It's Richard Brooks. Bert Colijn. You're so almost in the field reporting from the field

. I'm not in the studio today. I'm on the road just having finished a weekend and Lincoln, Nebraska Woo hoo! Shout out to my Presbyterian friends, their first prez and also a couple of great House concerts. I love singing with people in their living rooms. Today. We're looking at Psalm 85 for this. A second Sunday in Lent. I guess you could say Psalm 85 is well, it's kind of like a love song. It's a song about Shalom before we hear the text. What does Shalom mean? Sometimes we see it in the text, like today translated Peace, Peace. But really, it's more than just a NAB. Since of strife or war, Shalom might mean the conditions where everyone has what they need, and no one is left out where everyone has what they need. No one is left out That has to do with economy. That has to do with, um, social relationships that has to do with politics

. Everything my friend Marva says Shalom means if there's anything you need that I have, it's yours. It's that sense of belonging that comes along with Shalom. Well, let's hear this text. This is Psalm 85. Uh, they pull it up on my device here, uh, versus one and two and then skip stove versus eight through 13. This is a revised standard version, new revised standard version. More or less. Take a deep breath with me. It's on 85. Holy one. You are favorable to your land. You restored the fortunes of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of your people. You pardoned all their sin. So that way take a deep breath. Let me hear what God the holy one will speak for

. God will speak peace to God's people. To his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts. Surely God's life is at hand For those who are in awe of God that his glory may dwell in our land. Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground and righteousness will look down from the sky. Holy one of Israel will give what is good and our land will yield. It's increase. Righteousness will go before him and will make a path for his steps. Here ends the reading. An ancient song of the people of God. Thanks be to God. Okay, So what is this song about my, uh, my psalm? Obi Wan? Clint

McCann says it's clear this psalm is about food justice. Okay, so let's back up. Where does this text start? Well, it starts with a kind of assurance for the nation. God, you have forgiven all of us. You have even spoken a word of peace. The text says, Let us listen and we will hear that word of peace. We could stop right there. And maybe that's what we need to hear. Maybe that is a sermon in itself. What is it like toe? Listen to God in the world that the presence of Christ near us, even in these days, what is it like to listen for that peace and be cultivators of that sort of shalom? But it doesn't end there. It has these, um, kind of love song images. Or that's what it seems like to me. I actually wrote a song for some 85 for ah, wedding of good friends of ours who got married in Hawaii

. Ah, while back, um, surely verse nine says God's God's salvation for God's God's giving of life is at hand. For anyone in awe of this God, that God's glory may dwell where in our land, in our land this is a very earthy context. Here it goes on Verse 10 steadfast love that's acid and faithfulness will meet righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Hey, we're having a wedding. That's what it seems like. Verse 11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground and righteousness will look down from the sky. Interesting. Because of this union between steadfast love and faithfulness, righteousness and peace kissing each other, there's actually a benefit. There's some something coming comes out of that. Where does it come from? The ground faithfulness will spring up from the ground righteousness looking down from the sky. What does that mean? Verse

12 says the Holy One will give what is good and our land way can't get away from the land. Our land will yield. It's increase. That means crops and continues righteousness or another translation would be justice. Justice will go before God and will make a path for God's way or God's steps. In other words, Clinton can says, This is really simple. This is about Shalom and Shalom can start when everyone has enough to eat. Now, in Advent, we get a weird diet of texts. All through this season, we get yelled at by prophets like Isaiah and John the baptize er we get stories of pregnancy from Elizabeth and Mary, we get, um, devotion and surrender from Mary. We get, um, apocalyptic talking about what the world is like to come. What's breaking open here? Um

, we hear from bewildered men. They don't understand what's going on. Like soccer. I am Joseph. And then this shows up. Food is God about stirring us to think about. If everyone we see has enough, if everyone has what they need, where no one is left out, it could be that some 85 is stirring us to think about our neighborhoods. What is our wider parish that we are responsible for? That is the kind of the old parish, uh, model that maybe ah, church is responsible for the souls within x number of square blocks of their vicinity. What is your congregation about right now? What is your mission in your neighborhood? Do people know that you are up to good? So maybe five might stir us? Thanks for today And a blessed advent to you. I published two brand new worship songs each month. You could get my feed for music and pay as little as a dollar per song. You

can find out more about that. At solemn immersion dot com. Thanks again for today. Back to your job and Eric Heh. Previously on the Bible Truth. I smell Heaven's Bakery cooking up something good for you, Sister Heaven's Bakery has a sui, said Isaiah. Chapter 40 versus one through 11. I'll read the common English Bible Comfort, Comfort My people says Your God speak compassionately to Jerusalem and proclaimed to her that her compulsory service has ended, that her penalty has been paid and that she has received from the Lord's hand double. For all her sins, voices crying out clear the way. Clear the Lord's way in the desert. Make a level highway in the wilderness for our god. Every valley will be raised up and every mountain and hill will be flattened. Uneven ground will become

level and a rough terrain of valley plane. The Lord's glory will appear, and all humanity will see it together. The Lord's mouth has commanded it, a voice was saying Call out and another said, What shall I call out? All flesh is grass, and its loyalty is like flowers of the field. The grass dries up in the flowers, wither when the Lord's breath blows on it. Surely the people are grass. The grass dries up, the flower withers but are God's word will exist forever. Go up on a high mountain messenger, Zion, raise your voice and shout Messenger Jerusalem! Raise it. Don't be afraid, Say to the cities of Judah. Here is your God. Here is the Lord God coming with strength with a try triumphant arm bringing his reward with him and his payment before him Like a shepherd, God will tend to the flock. He will gather lambs in his arms and lift them onto his lap

. He will gently guide the nursing use. All right, so this is a giant like quot McWhorter. Tin Passage. There's so many quotes. In fact, it's really if if you are I I almost don't want to do the common English Bible, right? Because, um, because there's so many. I mean, there's so much comfort or comfort Ye my people, right? Or or comfort or comfort. My people says your God, that grass me whether the flowers may fade, right, uh, in the wilderness prepared the way the Lord make straight the desert of valley a highway for our Lord, every mountain shall be let right. I mean, it's just boom, boom, boom boom One right after the other one night after the other at the end. You know, the the you know here is your God. You know, that says to the cities of Judah Rejoice. I mean, it's just a it's a it's a big one. Uh, if you've recently switched to a new translation, uh, just make sure that whoever your reader is because even as you are reading it, Rob

, I was like, Wait, is it That's not how it goes like yeah, right. And that's the sort of the double edged sword of the new translation, right? Like some people love though, these QUOTABLES you kind of lose some of that. But at the same time, sometimes that's good, right? Because it get it forces you to hear it a little new and and think about it in ways because those Quotables Sometimes you know you've heard it before and you've got your interpretation sort of fixed s so that that could happen to repent for the Kingdom of God is a hand Well, you know, really the common English change your hearts and minds, actually, little better than repent. So, um, but there's a There's a lot in here, you know, I you know, the I use that little bit of scripture a lot of times, right before right before either I preach or right before, you know, that's like my my preparatory verse, right? The grass made whether the flowers may fade But the word of God, you know, last forever, Um, you know, they're different. It's like that one. And, you know, like the go to like that And, you know, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart acceptable in your sight. Okay, so

just a quick reminder, right? This is the beginning of second Isaiah. We've come right after, uh, Isaiah one. The first chunk of Isaiah that was probably set by Isaiah, um, ends with with 39 and, uh, and it ends with this. It ends with this kind of proclamation to has a kaya. Right. Um, and in this kind of proclamation, by by Isaiah, which is harsh, right. So, you know, 39 3. Isaiah, the prophet came to King has, like I said, him, uh, you know what did these men say, and has a guy said that came to me from Babylon. And then Isaiah says here the word of the Lord of Heavenly Forces. The days are coming when all that is in your house, which your ancestors have started to this day will be carried to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord, Um And so you know some of your sons, your own descendants, whom your father will be taken to become eunuchs in the King of Babylon's palace. That is not good news, right? I mean

, like this thing. And this has come after 38 chapters of Isaiah basically saying you're going to reap what you sow. You're going to reap what you sow. You're going to reap what you sow like that. You haven't cared for the widow. You haven't cared for the orphan. You haven't cared for the alien. The land is gonna vomit you out from it because you have not held up your side of the covenant s o. This is the I told you so. Passage. Yeah, that's that's basically that's what happens right before this right was like, Now it's gonna happen. Now, here's the shift What's happened between Isaiah, 39 Isaiah, 40 is the entire exile, right? So 100 and 50 years passed between the end of 39 in the beginning of 40 because this is due to row Isaiah, which is written during the reign of of Cyrus. And so we hear about Cyrus the Persian. I'll talk about him and Isaiah 44 things like that. But this is the This is kind of the the comfort the exile is ending. Something new

is happening. This is hope. This is This is thes air, the passages of comfort. And so we're moving from this bad news to now good news. And so we have these ideas of, you know, God's promises of redemptions and words of hope for this exiled people. And so it's interesting that after 39 chapters of some pretty harsh words of judgment today, we start with comfort, comfort my people. And so in the same way that if we take, you know, Mark one within the greater, uh, kind of historical context in which Mark one has written it comes in the middle of nowhere, you know, Here's the good news. Um, you think wait a second. What, like this is this is something that's totally different in the same way that if you're kind of trucking through Isaiah and you get toe 40 you say, What comfort? What? What has happened, where these words of comfort come from and it is something completely different, completely unexpected

. Yeah, I mean, and that's again. That's why the context is so important. And it's it's such an important piece of this time of year, right? I mean, this is e mean, this is the shift that we have of, um, you know, we talked a lot like last week was the lament and the sort of second come, you know, the little apocalypse. But here, we've gotta have this. It's not all doom and gloom like we're moving through Advent there. There's a shift here, and I think that's ah, that fits with what we're talking about with this is something to celebrate. Even if all appearances, this is still it. Like even if it doesn't look all that good, because this is still in the midst of, uh, exile. Still, in the midst of all this heartache, um, this words of comfort, though it's come something's coming, right, Right. That this is not you will not be left here. And so that's and that's where we have this

. You know this image in this image to of, you know, off homecoming, right? I mean, this idea of in the wilderness prepared the way the Lord makes straight in the desert. Ah, highway for our God, right That that God is coming. We are about to be redeemed. Right? But I will say that that this is also an interesting passage which is very again advent. Because advent is this season of dramatic contrasts like on DWI. See this both theologically, right? I mean, like, we're celebrating the baby. But we're also celebrating the second coming and all of that, right? So we we see the vulnerability of God in the major in the vulnerability of God on the cross and all these other pieces that we talked about, um you know, talking about, like preparing the way of the Lord is both were preparing the coming of the of the incarnate Christ. And we're also preparing for a za response from the Incarnate Christ. We have all these contrasts, and this is also fascinating in the contrast that we have, because what we hear is we have this images of God, this great image of

God, who is, you know, lifting valleys and crushing mountains, right? And making this this massive leveling right of the world. Um, you know, the glory of God being revealed. We we hear this. And then it doubles down in this kind of wholly transcendent God which basically says you all are just grass and flowers, right? At the end of the day, you all die. You're nothing. You are grass and flowers that weighed and fade away when God simply breathes on it, right? Surely the people are grass. What happens to grass? Rob? It withers. What happened? Flowers. They fade. God is eternal, right? So we have this, like lifting up of this massive God. And then it really comes to this This, um, kind of apex. This this This climax here in versus 10 and 11. See, the Lord comes with might his arm rules for him. His reward is with him. His recompense

is before him. Now, remember, after 39 chapters of judgment, the God God, who is so mighty that have got breathes on you, you will wither and fall over and die, right? That's that's the image we've just had. And then we have this image of this mighty God with an arm of right, his arm ruling for him coming before, and this God's going to show up. We know what's gonna happen. This is like we've had this comfort before the final blow in which God is gonna just really knock us for a loop. And he will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will gather the lambs in his arms. He will carry them in his bosom and gently lead the mother sheep. What? Yeah. I mean, that's similar to the term that we had last week, right where it was. It starts with this warrior guy that can move mountains and but then ends with this, You know? God, you're my father, right? This deeply relational movement. And you know what reminds me again

of, you know, our conversation with Walter Burger Man when he talked about, you know, Advent is the recovery program. You know, God is trying to recover from violence on this is his recovery program. Yeah, absolutely. And it's but it and it also I mean, having having these tensions. Right? And this is really I mean, we have this this tension between these images of God, the tensions between judgment and grace and this kind of this dialectic that continues, you know, we're talking about this preparing the way of the Lord and what that means it's we have. We have all these images of what that looks like. Um, and it's never really one or the other, right? I mean, we have this. Does that mean that God isn't powerful and and with with the power and ability to do this? Yes. But then we have this nurturing God. And so there's this beautiful image where, um, Korean Carvallo from working preacher writes and says the contracting images served to highlight

the great chasm between Yeah, we and the people. They've sinned. God has stayed true. As a side note, that's basically the entire message of Of Isaiah one through 39. Okay, back to the quote. They're fragile, but God is powerful. The poem focuses on the declaration of the human condition. Grass withers, flowers fall reality to well known by the ancient audience, right? These are people who have seen all of their things get destroyed. Okay? Their own intergenerational experience of exiles demonstrated God does not care whether they live or die there no more than blades of grass to be crushed in. The warriors rushed to glory, but no comfort. That's what this is about. The divine warrior with an arm outstretched to slay an enemy instead bends down, scoops up little lambs into the divine bosom. This this beautiful, um, this this beautiful image, you know, And And as you said that, that kind of recovery. But it also kind of, you know, these these contrasts Also, I feel like embrace the dichotomy of this

season, which is both one of, like, happy and decking the halls and joy and celebration and parties. And that that, uh, and as for many of us and Rob, I think you guys have a blue Christmas services. Well, yeah, and and also, you know, the depression and grief and lamentation and sadness and the idea that both are possible. Both are held. Um, George, drop and feasting on the word talks about. You know that that how these these these tensions so often inform one another, right and talks about how the nature of God her gentle nature is mighty and her might is her gentle nature. It is, um We rejoice in the goodness of the world. Uh, and but we're also lament because we haven't entered the Kingdom of God. But the fact that we haven't entered the Kingdom of God does not mean that the world is, ah, horrible, horrific place to live in, you know, I mean

, those two are constantly informing one another, right? It's those. It's that lamentation and the lamentation and agony of Advent and the ecstasy of Christmas constantly interwoven and dialogue with one another. Um, and and living in that tension, I think, and inviting people into that tension e I mean, I think that's the work of preaching. Right Preaching invites us to dwell within those tensions. He and often it's It's those times of tragedy that God is most revealed, right? And it's not that God is using that. Not that God caused this tragedy to to prove, you know, to prove something, but that that's often where we see the remarkable acts of kindness. That's where humanity sometimes comes out. Our our fullest, our most beautiful sense of humanity at times is when, in those times of tragedy and those times of despair, that's when something

emerges that that is truly remarkable. It's the, you know, the mundanity of, you know, in the mundane time of your week or, you know, when things were going well, it's really easy to sort of forget God and forget. You know, life is fine. Life is good, you know? The T shirts say life is good. I don't really need to worry about much of anything, Um, but sometimes it's those. It's those times of crisis that we that God is most revealed and often revealed through the love and the grace of other people. And and I think that's, um I think that that kind of all speaks to this, that phenomenon as well. So there's more about that. Check out our show notes pulpit fiction dot com or on this moron mark again. Pulp fiction dot com is where you can find all of our notes and commentary, some of which we've talked about and some of which you have to go to pulp fiction dot com video. Now that's a tasty way for

, well, tasty way for this week. It's just a website that I found today looking for stuff, and I'm trying to think ahead on these tasty wafers. We're in the middle of Advent, but pretty quick after Advent is gonna be the baptism of the Lord Sunday. So I found a page. It's on liturgy dot co dot nz, so I assume that's a New Zealand page. I think it's the New Zealand Anglican Church. Possibly it's a It's an ecumenical website, but its shares, um, prayers for the baptism of the Lord Sunday and I read through them. And a lot of them are pretty neat. Well, uh, prayers. Colonics, Um, just some resource is there that you might wanna tuck away for the coming weeks. It's gonna be here before we know. What is that? January 7th this year. So it's gonna come up fast, Friends, thank you all for joining us for this episode of the Pulp Fiction podcast. And we'd love to hear from you. You

could do that in a bunch of ways. Goto our home pulp fiction dot com where you can comment on any episodes and you can find all of our notes for, uh, election Eri you can call and leave us your comments at 9 to 9. To Pulpit, that's 99 to 785748 When Instagram and Facebook and Pulp Fiction and Twitter a Pulpit F podcast, you can find us on Google Play soundcloud on iTunes. We would love if you could leave us a review there. You can also hear us just about anywhere that you can find podcasts and we'd love if you subscribe to us in those places. Email us show at pulp fiction dot us and support us by going to public fiction dot com and clicking on Donate Well, our featured musician and our songs correspondent for the same guy who was Richard Brekford Culligan. His song The Word of God Fleshed uh, you could be fined that song immersion dot com dot or some immersion dot band camp dot com, where you can find that particular song. E wanna thank Scott Fletcher for the voice bumpers, Dick Dale Dale and the Del Tones for the theme music. Nick Headless for the transition music Hope you have a Blessed

week way. Hate to say it's time to go, but it happens every time you know So now you're free to go about your day. We've heard the word invoice and song You wondered and we've laughed along. Go and preach the good news on your way. This is the pulpit fiction podcast for creatures and seekers and Bible geeks. This is the pulpit depiction Podcast. We'll see you back next week. Mm hmm. Mhm right now.

407: UPDATE Advent 2B (12/6/2020)
407: UPDATE Advent 2B (12/6/2020)
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