Imagine that you’re driving down the highway.
You miss your exit. With a little tug in the pit of your stomach, you realize that you’re now heading somewhere new.
Imagine that you’re at a concert.
You’re listening to a piece of music that keeps surprising you with fresh chords and new sounds. The composer leads you somewhere you didn’t expect, and you can’t help but follow, curious to learn what comes next.
Imagine that you’ve gathered with a group of people for ballroom dancing.
The music shifts; it’s time to change partners. You’re ready to sit this one out, but someone meets your eyes and holds out their hand. The moment is electric. You accept the wordless invitation and spin into motion.
Out of the blue, something new is arriving like lightning: change, wonder, justice, joy.
Through every generation, God has been dreaming of this moment. Inevitably, it catches us by surprise, just like it surprised our ancestors in faith: Sarah, Abraham, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Mary, Joseph. God’s time is now. It’s here to reorient our expectations and to sweep us into a future of hope and promise, even if we didn’t expect it, even if it wasn’t part of our plans.
This November and December, Barn Geese Worship invites you to join the flow of an Advent season that sweeps us off our feet, carries us forward, and invites us to join God in God’s creative work. We’ll trace God’s plans for justice and peace with the genealogy of Jesus and the witness of the saints who followed him. We’ll be surprised by a thicket of new shoots from the stump of Jesse. We’ll be beguiled by a God who invites us to imagine something new, not remembering the things that came before. And if we’re worried about the future and afraid of letting go of the familiar outlines of our lives, God will meet us there too.
The highway always existed past the exit. The music is already written. The dance is underway. But the moment of change seems to come out of the blue, altering our expectations and creating a future we never thought possible.
It’s Advent, and change is coming out of the blue. What will God reveal to us this season?
What’s included in the series?
This Advent series is flexible in length. It can be used for the traditional four-week Advent season or expanded to fit six or seven weeks of extended Advent. Extending the Advent season into November can help a congregation encounter Advent spirituality on a deeper, more focused level. However, our resources also work with a more typical four-week Advent calendar.
Our preachers’ notes follow the Revised Common Lectionary. They point preachers to the ways God is already fulfilling God’s promises and surprising us with newness in the messy middle of life.
Liturgical texts connect to the theme of God’s new, constantly unfolding work. The liturgical texts include a rite for lighting Advent candles during worship and liturgical music written especially for the season.
A midweek service offers congregations the opportunity to refresh an ancient Advent practice of contemplating Jesus’ family tree. Beginning with the stories of Jesus’ ancestors like Abram and Sarai, Ruth and Rahab, Mary and Joseph, this midweek service invites us to wonder: what does Jesus’ family tree look like after Jesus? How are we part of it?
A weekly devotional offers users of all ages the chance to connect to some of the stories of Jesus’ ancestors, alone or in groups. Each week includes a scripture reading, prayer, devotion, and invitations to reflection and engagement. The readings in this resource connect it to the midweek service and the pageant.
A low-preparation Christmas pageant for all ages invites worshiping communities to experience the story of Jesus in an embodied, joyful way as Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem. The stories in this resource connect it to the midweek service and the devotional.
Out of the Blue: now live in the Market Stall!
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