Jesus, the Redeemer of our Past

This week we continue Advent and our sermon series based on Matthew Rawle’s book, The Redemption of Scrooge. As a reminder, this book is available in paperback or as a digital download from Cokesbury; also available from Amazon. Don’t forget to experience Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, either in film or in a local live performance. You may also read or listen to the story by visiting your local library, listening to a free audiobook or a free e-book.

This week, I invite you to think about your own past – even the parts of your past that you don’t like to acknowledge. Maybe when you think about your past, you have positive memories. And maybe there is an element of pain. Either way, I invite you to spend time in this recollection.

Matthew 4:18-22
18As Jesus walked alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, because they were fishermen. 19“Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” 20Right away, they left their nets and followed him. 21Continuing on, he saw another set of brothers, James the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with Zebedee their father repairing their nets. Jesus called them and 22immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Who are some of the people that Jesus calls? What are some of the circumstances of call we read in our Bibles? What are some circumstances of call that you or someone you know has experienced?

Supplmental Scriptures
Matthew 2:13-23; Luke 16:19-31; Galatians 1:13-24

Readings from Chapter 2 of The Redemption of Scrooge
Sunday: The Remembrance of Christmas Past
Monday: Wise Men at the Nativity
Tuesday: A Glimpse of Redemption
Wednesday: A Season of Senses: Sight and Taste
Thursday: A Season of Senses: Sound and Touch
Friday: The Order of Candles
Saturday: Reflection: Pictures of the Past

Post-Sermon Update on 12/6
I hope that your Advent journey is aided by these readings and this exploration. In Sunday’s sermon, we explored with some humility the ways we are imperfect and our collective hope that God fills in the places where we feel cracked and/or broken and gives us the strength to respond to the work we are called to do. If you missed the sermon, you can listen to it here.

I saw a video posted online recently by well-known Lutheran Pastor and author Nadia Bolz-Weber about the Advent season. She also explores the reality of human imperfection, and suggests the hope of our imperfections being taken from us. See the video below. (Note: this video may not play on all devices.)

What is it you would like taken from you? How would you want to experience relief? Consider taking some time in prayer to ask Jesus to abscond with anything that might be doing you spiritual harm.

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