82 West Central Street, Rt 140,
PO Box 313 Franklin MA 02038
The angels that appear in the story of Jesus’ birth would have been very comfortable in our world of tweets and hashtags. Their messages were often short and to the point–their favorite line being #DoNotBeAfraid. As we look at the stories of these winged messengers to Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and the Shepherds and their reactions to them, we will contemplate what messages we can offer that will counteract a culture of fear and bring #morehope, #morepeace, #morejoy, and #morelove to the world.
#MoreHope 1st Sunday of Advent December 3rd
It was just another day at the temple for Zechariah. It was his priestly turn to make sure everything was done properly and in good order. But it turned into something quite different when an angel showed up at the altar. Have you ever had a moment in your life after which you knew nothing would ever be the same? In the midst of great change, hope is always a welcome thing. Advent can remind us that God makes us ready for whatever unknown may come our way and calls us to be messengers of #morehope in an ever-changing world.
#MorePeace - 2nd Sunday of Advent December 10th
Zechariah freaked out when the other-worldly creature appeared to him. But Mary was simply “perplexed.” Why would such an incredible message come to a common girl just barely a woman? Then her reply to such a foretelling about her purpose in life was also simple: “Let it be so.” Have you ever struggled with finding your purpose and being at peace with it? Or are you yearning for more peace in your life and relationships? #morepeace in the world happens when all of us feel #morepeace within ourselves and live out that message each day.
#MoreJoy - 3rd Sunday of Advent December 17th
Every angel seems to use “do not be afraid” as an opening line. But perhaps no one needed to hear it more than Joseph. What was happening to him was the stuff that ruins lives. As a man, he had all the rights to abandon Mary and preserve his dignity. The stakes were high–who would believe this? Keeping up “appearances” can rob us of our #morejoy. Let us be messengers of encouragement and steadfast support, as Joseph was, for that which the Spirit is birthing in the world.
#MoreLove - 4th Sunday of Advent December 24th
The sky was brighter than usual that night, making it easier to keep track of the sheep. And then it got really bright. You would have thought that all that “glory” shining would have been “the sign.” That’s what most of us look for–great big obvious clues about God’s presence. But instead, the angel says that a baby… a newborn helpless baby in a feeding trough was it–the sign. In a flash, the message was that #morelove is found where you least expect it and perhaps is already there residing in the ordinariness of your life.
Franklin United Methodist Church