Archive for Advent 2021

Where is the Joy?

People of Advent,

In this season of waiting, we have been called to examine and prepare by John the Baptist. We have looked at Hope and Peace. Last week, Luke 3:1-6 told us to repent and prepare the way.

This week we look at Joy.

At face value, this week’s text from Luke 3:7-18 is more of the apocalyptic craziness from John the Baptist. He says, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance.”

We might ask ourselves, “Where is the good news? Where is the joy? What does this have to do with Christmas?”

Do you have an answer? Perhaps not. However, we are called to seek.

John continues to cry from the wilderness, exhorting us to look within and change from the inside out. Inviting us into a renewal in a baptism that leads to Joy. The Joy that will “baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

I look forward to being with you Sunday.
Rev. Michael Cronin

Dear Friends

Peace, Beloveds,

As I write to you, it is the 33rd commemoration of World AIDS Day. Over the years, it has fittingly coincided with the First Sunday of Advent, which is recognized as HOPE. Many of us lived in the “wilderness” in HOPE. This year, World AIDS Day, is smack dab in the middle between HOPE and PEACE Sundays in Advent.

And we always hope for peace.

This year, PEACE Sunday focuses on John the Baptist, the one who calls us from the wild. Luke 3:4 says: As it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of God, make their paths straight.’”

A Catholic interpretation offers: To guide our feet into the way of peace. O peace, my heart’s desire! O Jesus, you who are my peace! You who put me at peace with God, with myself, and with the whole world, and thus make peace both in heaven and on earth! (cf. Col. 1:20). When will it come to pass, O Jesus?

Whatever the delivery, peace is the goal. Are you ready to travel into the hopeful wilderness toward PEACE? I invite you to join, whether it be in person or on Zoom, to participate in growing Island United’s advocacy of PEACE.

Peace be upon you,
Rev. Michael Cronin

Dear Friends

Happy Thanksgiving, People of God,

The previous church year has ended. We are giving thanks for what God has given us. This coming Sunday, we enter into the church new year – Advent.

Advent – a time of waiting.

We wait in HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE for the arrival of the Christ, the Messiah, the One who will deliver us from our earthly toils and tribulations. This is what we, and our ancestors, have done over the millennia.

In this liturgical year, we focus on the Gospel of Luke. Luke brings us the child meek and mild, born in a cattle stall witnessed by the lowly shepherds. We are reminded that “pedigree and grandeur” is not how God reveals themself, God – Immanuel, God with us – comes through “the least of these.”

As we journey through Advent, I invite you to engage the “Traveling with Our Ancestors” devotional in addition to weekly worship.

With expectancy,
Rev. Michael Cronin