Thursday | December 17, 2020
THE SHOFAR

Scripture: Matthew 3: 1-6

I am listening to Godspell and the ram’s horn, the shofar, is being blown.

It is visceral, primal, drawing . . .

And I hear. And listen. And it awakens my soul.

This ancient sound could be a battle cry, a warning, a call to worship.

But it was also used to announce the coming or the crowning of a King.

And we have a King coming!

“Listen! I hear the voice of someone shouting,
‘Make a road for the Lord through the wilderness;
make him a straight, smooth road through the desert.
Fill the valleys; level the hills; straighten out the crooked paths, and smooth off the rough spots in the road.
The glory of the Lord will be seen by all mankind together.’
The Lord has spoken. It shall be.” (Isaiah 40:3-5 The Living Bible)

Our King is coming. Get ready. GET READY NOW!

Open your hearts and ready your lives.
Straighten any crooked ways.
Smooth out the rough spots.
For He is almost here! (adapted from Isaiah 40:3-5)

And the shofar blows.

And a voice cries out,
“Prepare ye the Way of the Lord!”
again - and again – and again. (Godspell: Stephen Schwartz)

And the shofar blows another time.

Are you ready? Hurry!

Again there’s the sound of the shofar. And now I hear singing, deep and commanding:

“Let all mortal flesh keep silence
and with fear and trembling stand . . .
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.
King of kings, yet born of Mary . . . “ (from the Liturgy of St James, 4th century,
paraphrased by Gerard Moultrie)

King of kings . . . He comes to us.

A helpless babe . . . He comes to us.

And – miracle of miracles! - He bids us to come to Him!

Even if we’re not quite ready.
Even if we’re still not very straight or smooth.
Even if we are a bit scruffy around the edges.
We can come.
And so we do!

And the shofar blows a final blast – loud and long.

Prayer: 
Thank you, Lord, for coming to us once as a baby long ago and then coming again and again to us as we open ourselves to you and let your grace and power into our lives.

-- Lyn Fitz
MEDITATIONS ON THE BIRTH OF JESUS
Thursdays | 1:30 pm
You are invited to join Pastor Pam for Meditations on the Birth of Jesus, a thirty minute class employing Lectio Divina (Divine reading of scripture) and Visio Divina (Divine “seeing” of scripture) as we explore the birth narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The meditations will include works of art as we “gaze” upon the Christ Child. Classes will be held on Thursdays, December 3, 10, and 17 by Zoom at 1:30 pm No registration is needed. Zoom link HERE.
Shea Perry reads Luke 2:8-14
During Advent you are invited to participate in personal Advent Evening Prayer and Worship in the comfort of your home at the close of each day. Download this guide HERE.
#adventaltarspace
"Watched the meteor shower at the Valles Caldera. It was very very very cold. Thank goodness for hand warmers!"
-- Shea
#ADVENTALTARSPACE
Let’s share the spirit of Advent and Christmas by sharing photos of our at-home altar spaces, the lighting of Advent candles, and our holiday decorations! Please also consider sharing a favorite Advent & Christmas activity or memory! Email your photos and a description to Shea at communicate@stjohns-abq.org.
MOUNTAIN CATHEDRALS
Saturday, December 19 | 1:30 pm
Bosque Del Apache
National Wildlife Refuge

Join Mountain Cathedrals this Saturday December 19th as we travel to the Bosque Del Apache. We will meet at St John’s at 1:30 pm. If you prefer, meet us as the Visitor’s Center at the Bosque Del Apache. We should be there around 3:30 pm. During our time together we may view the cranes, herons, geese, and other waterfowl returning to the Bosque at sunset. Bring your binoculars! The Bosque closes at 1 hour after sunset, so about 6:30 pm.

As, we gather at the VISITOR’S CENTER parking lot (turn right) we will gather and give more details about our visit. Next, we will stop at the Boardwalk Trail (.5 miles). It is a semi-permanent wetland that has year-round wildlife viewing. Cattails and bulrushes hide bitterns, rails, and busy muskrats. At the conclusion of this short walk, we will have a devotion and receive communion, while we reflect on God’s creation, these wetlands of New Mexico, in this season of waiting and watching. See you soon!
JOIN US FOR WORSHIP LIVE-STREAMED FROM THE SANCTUARY
Sundays | 9:30 & 11:00 am
St. John’s will live-stream a worship service on Sunday morning at 9:30 am (Contemporary) on the Abide Facebook page and 11:00 am (Traditional) on our Youtube Channel. We hope you’ll worship with us! (Pastors Pam and Kelly will lead, along with Shea Perry, Jim Ahrend, and Matt Greer). We hope that you’ll participate by singing and praying at home! Any questions? Email Matt at mgreer@stjohns-abq.org.

Sunday Community Activities: Click HERE to view all Sunday School Classes & groups! Join us in the virtual Sonshine Coffee Zoom immediately following the 11:00 am Worship with church Leadership Team members hosting. Zoom registration is HERE.
Prayer Requests:
The Gruen family in the passing into glory of Marge

Ann Boland and family in the passing into glory of Bob

Roger and Donna Eaton in the passing of sister Virginia Davis

Donna Bruce in the passing of her brother

Karen and Hal Tidler in the passing of their brother-in-law
VIRTUAL PRAYER QUILT
Kelly Giese is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for December 7 - December 20.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Kelly: “Loving Lord, we ask that as Kelly moves forward to a new location and a new ministry, may your Holy Spirit lead and guide her and keep her steadfast, always abounding in your work and in your love. Amen."
 DECEMBER SPECIAL OFFERING: Two Ministries for Children
This month, we have the opportunity to support two wonderful ministries dealing with children. The Methodist Children’s Home in Waco, Texas, has helped troubled children (ages 12-18) find a place to heal and grow in a loving Christian environment for over 125 years. Younger children thrive in homes of loving foster parents. “They (MCH) are here for me when no one else is.” “They never give up on us.” “I now know that God’s going to be there for me.
      A second Methodist-supported haven for children is Providence Place in San Antonio, Texas. Its motto says it all: “Giving God’s Children a Faith, a Family, a Future.” “Providence Place loved me and helped me make the best decision for my child without any pressure,” said one birth mother in the open adoption program. And, as an adoptive couple puts it, “It is indescribable the joy that Abby has brought into our lives.” Providence Place also helps young adults with physical and/or cognitive disabilities develop their full potential and learn to live on their own with minimal assistance.  Both of these fine ministries rely on our generous donations.
Contact Us
www.stjohns-abq.org
(505) 883-9717
2626 Arizona St NE | Albuquerque, NM 87110
Office Hours (call only): Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Questions? Contact Shea Perry at communicate@stjohns-abq.org