Christmas Eve Homily

24 December 2019

Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2:1-20

The Rev. Todd R. Goddard, Pastor

Rush United Methodist Church


Prayer: Breathe life into your Gospel this evening, O Lord, that it might speak to each of us, and, touch us like a newborn baby. Amen.





These are three of many characteristics of the Christmas story.

That have been speaking to me this year.




The Gospel of Matthew begins with a glimmer of grace

That culminates with God’s greatest gift of grace;

God’s great love.

God so loves the world

God gives us his Son, Jesus.

Through Jesus,

We are not condemned,

We are forgiven.

We are saved.


The glimmer of grace is found in Joseph.

Matthew begins with a list of the lineage of Jesus;

Directly connecting his ancestral heritage with that of King David.

The Messiah everyone expected had to come from King David’s descendants.

Matthew states the case:

Joseph is a bonified grandson.


Despite his royal lineage

Joseph was in a pickle.

He knew his fiancé was pregnant.

He also knew he wasn’t the father.

Furthermore, according to the Law of Moses,

as found in Deuteronomy 22:13-21,

The penalty for an adulterous fiancé

was stoning to death.


Joseph was devout, meaning he righteously followed the letter of the Law.


His dilemma:

Live by the Law, as was his practice, and have Mary stoned to death,

Or, live by grace, completely contrary to his righteous lifestyle?

Lead with grace and save her from public disgrace by quietly ending their nuptials?


The first action in the first Gospel

Is an act of Grace;

Joseph’s heart of rigid, legalistic stone

is transformed

Into a heart of love, compassion, life-saving mercy.


This is a sign that God is tacking in a new direction.

Behold, with Jesus, all things are made new.

Love has always been God’s motive.

Grace becomes God’s signature.


Live by the Law, and die by the Law.

Live by Christ, and taste and see God’s abundant grace and love.


This act of grace by Joseph

Begs me to ask,

Where is God’s grace at work in our lives?


Where have you experienced

God’s amazing grace?

Undoing or discarding old and tradition-bound, stubborn ways?


Where in your life has God’s grace

Resulted in the transformation of your heart

From cold and uncaring

Into a melted heart

filled with love, compassion, and mercy?


Where have you personally experienced God’s grace working through you, like Joseph,

To become for the world

The amazing, abundant grace of God?


Have you experienced God’s grace

Such that you firmly believe

God is calling you to take a new direction,

To boldly make a life-altering change,

To fish other seas?








An angel, a messenger from God, visits Joseph in a dream.

The angel leads with “Do not be afraid.”

Do not be afraid for God is doing something brand new.


This is the angelic message:

Mary conceived her child by the Holy Spirit,

Not by an act of adultery.


This is God’s command to Joseph:

Take Mary as your wife.

When she gives birth, name the boy “Jesus.”


Do not be afraid.

In the Jewish world

Naming was done by the Father.

The act of Joseph naming Jesus,

Means that adoption is made legal and

The royal, paternal, messianic connection is made.

Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled.

God’s been at work all along.

To speak Jesus is to recognize Emmanuel;

“God with us.”


Do not be afraid, the angel said.

The Messianic promise is complete.

Jesus, adopted by Joseph, grandson of David.

Jesus, conceived by the Holy Spirit with Mary, Son of God.

God has sent the world His Son.


Do not be afraid, Joseph.

God is with you.

Jesus will save his people from their sins.

Behold, Messiah has come!


The angelic message begs the question,

Beloved, where have you faced fear in your life

With the calming presence and power of God through Jesus Christ?


When that termination letter arrives,

Be not afraid.

Be calm.

The Lord provides.


When your loved one is sick, suffering, or dies,

Do not be afraid.

Be calm.

Jesus heals, forgives, and saves.


When marriage is on the rocks,

When a relationship doesn’t work out,

Or when children don’t live up to expectations,

Do not be afraid.

Be calm.

God’s got this.

God is with you.


When the will is worn and tired,

Emotions are raw, and

Doubt assails your faith,

Do not be afraid.

Be calm.

You’ve been given the power of the Holy Spirit.


Do not be afraid.

Be calm.

God actually does love you!








As the angelic opening begins with an assurance of calm,

“Do not be afraid” is followed with

Angelic glory!


Suddenly, the lone messenger angel

Is joined in Bethlehem’s sky by

“a multitude of the heavenly host,

Praising God and saying,

‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,

And on earth peace among those whom he favors!’” (Luke 2:13-14)

Glory to God!


What does glory mean?


Glory is used to describe the manifestation of God,

God’s presence,

Right here,

In our midst.


For Joseph,

Glory comes with his recognition

That Jesus is God’s divine Son

As well as his adopted son.

Glory to God!

By the birth of Jesus, God is with us.


Glory comes with Joseph’s recognition that

Jesus is the prophetic promise

That God is with us.

Glory to God!


Glory comes to the angelic host flying over shepherd’s fields

When good news is proclaimed!

Good news is Gospel.

Gospel truth: Jesus is born this day.

Gospel truth: Jesus is the Messiah.

Gospel truth: Jesus is the Lord.

Glory to God!

Jesus is born; God is with us.


Glory comes to shepherds who did as they were told,

Who went and beheld the newborn Jesus.

They experienced the presence of God laying in a manger

And returned their glory to God;

Praising God for all they had seen and heard.


Where have we experienced the presence,

The manifestation,

Of God?


Where has God snuck into your life and surprised you?

Unexpected? Unannounced? Completely out of the blue?

Where and when has God’s presence been revealed?

How have you responded?


Respond with glory!

Let us join Joseph, shepherds, and angels choirs:

Give glory to God in the highest heaven!


Give glory to God by

Proclaiming Good News!

Join the celebration at the Table,

With song, dance, and prayer.

Give glory to God by loving God

With all our heart, mind, soul, and strength,

And by loving our neighbor as ourselves.

Give glory to God and revel in His presence!


Beloved, when God is near,

Give glory!




The Gospel of Matthew, like Joseph, leads with grace.

Try to lead with grace in your life, too.


Do not be afraid.

This calms Joseph and shepherds alike.

Be calm in the face of what ever live throws your way.

Discover the calm at the center of Jesus’ birth.


Give glory to God.

The birth of Jesus places God front-and-center in our life.

God is with us.

Give God the glory!


“Character Matters”

“Maybe you’re wrong,” I thought to myself after reading a politically charged, hurtful post by a friend on social media. Should I call him out, or just let it go? Drawing conclusions before gathering all the data and carefully studying the evidence can have unintended consequences and disastrous results. Knowing what data to gather can be just as important as its analysis and conclusions.


“Maybe I’m wrong,” I think to myself, recognizing the fact that I often err. Perhaps I need to widen the scope of my information sources, listen more carefully, examine more critically, think more deeply, and pray more thoroughly. Self-examination is a helpful discipline that, when used properly, can result in better discernment and decision making.


“Maybe we are both wrong,” is a possibility that once it surfaces it can’t be repressed. People are complex, juggling multiple challenges at any one time. Issues can have competing priorities, conflicting values, even destructive consequences. I should be more empathetic. Too often I find myself trapped into believing that life and discipleship is a zero-sum game – yes or no, wrong or right, win or lose, my way or your way – when it’s not. The challenges we face are often “both / and”, “yes and no”, a negotiated compromise that leads to a stronger, more cooperative way forward.


“Maybe we are both right,” is humble recognition that God is at work in the lives of each of us, and throughout all creation. I need to honor and respect God at work in someone other than me. Can I replace my self-center point of view with a God centered world view? Can we embark on a mission of more deeply learning about one another? The discovery of common ground, learning to live peacefully in spite of differences, and collaborating with others to advance values, vision, and goals results in stronger communities and is immensely rewarding.


Character matters.


There are many fine books and courses on leadership in the church, business, and government. I have learned much over the years about leadership, and I am grateful. At the same time, there is much about church leadership that is shallow, resulting in a cookie cutter approach for the purpose of church growth. “Look at me, study my example, see how I grew a mega-church, be just like me”. I stopped worshiping at the altar of church growth many decades ago. I live for Jesus. Growth for growth sake leaves me cold.


Few are the books and discussions on character. Character is what we say and what we do in public and in private. It reflects our deepest values and beliefs. It is, as some have observed, “what you do when no one is watching.” As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I’m in constant desire to improve my character, as John Wesley called it, “moving on to Christian perfection.”


I’m currently reading “Sailing True North” by 4 Star Admiral James Stavridis. He writes short biographies on ten different admirals in history who changed the world, with a focus on character. What can be learned about character, both good and bad, that can lead to our own reflection, transformation, and improvement? His insights are thought provoking and challenging.


Using the metaphor of the Apostle Paul, when I put on Christ, I’m also attempting to put on the character of Christ. Like dressing, putting on Christ is a routine practiced every day, lived out in words and deeds.


Beloved, be of good character! Make a New Year’s Resolution to journey with me, humbly growing in character, becoming more like Christ, moving on to perfection.

“What Did You Expect?”

Matthew 11:2-11

15 December 2019 – Advent 3

The Rev. Todd R. Goddard, Pastor

Rush United Methodist Church


Matthew 11:2-11


When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”


As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.




Prayer: Unlock our minds and open our hearts, O Lord, that your word may satisfy every spiritual need. Amen.




John the Baptist is sitting in prison.

In prison, a person has a lot of time to think.

His followers still looked to him for direction, now more than ever.

John faced mortal danger at every turn and in every direction.


John asks the question

That is THE Advent question

Many of us share:

“Is Jesus the one?”


Our Jewish ancestors had been promised a Messiah,

An anointed one,

For centuries.

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel all prophesized,

All spoke on behalf of the Lord who sent them,

That God was sending to the world a Messiah.


What is a Messiah?


Messiah was understood to be a person,

Selected by God,

Sent on a mission to liberate and redeem the Jewish people.


God would send a Messiah who would

  • Be a human descendant of King David
  • Redeem Jews in exile (forgive them of the sins that sent them to exile) and return them to Jerusalem
  • Rebuild the Temple
  • Restore the Kingdom of Israel as it was during the time of King David
  • Replace the current flawed age with a world of justice and peace


Sounds pretty good to me!


“Is Jesus the one?” John asked.

He needed to know because his life hung by a thread.

Had his life been in vain?

Or, had he faithfully fulfilled God’s call and will for his life

To prepare the world for Jesus the Messiah?


John sounds like a man who has doubts and questions about faith,

Just like you and me.


The liberation people expected

wasn’t exactly the liberation that God had in mind.

The Messiah God was sending was far more

Then any could conceive, imagine, or dream.


  1. God planned to send His Son, Jesus.

In some mysterious ‘immaculate conception’ sort of way.

Jesus would be both a descendant of King David and God in the flesh.


  1. God planned to liberate us from our slavery to sin,

Redeeming us by the blood of the cross,

Just as Israel had been redeemed of their sin and allowed to return from exile to Jerusalem, rebuild the Temple, and re-establish the kingdom of David.


  1. God was planning to liberate us from the constraints of mortality,

With all its associated trials, disease, frailty, and tribulations.

With the resurrection of Jesus

Our mortality would be replaced with immortality,

A never-ending kingdom of justice and peace.


God had in mind saving the entire world,

Not just the Jewish people.


Because God so loved the world …


Our imagination is far too small for what God had in mind.




“Is Jesus the one? Or, should I wait for another?” John the Baptist wondered.


Doubts and questions of faith

are often understood as signs of weakness.

I disagree.


In fact, I encourage each of us to

  • Question everything – Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience
  • Explore faith with youthful curiosity and energy
  • Prepare spiritually for doubts that will inevitably come




Is Jesus the one?


Jesus responds,


Tell what you hear and see.

Report the observable evidence.


Return and report miracles that can only be explained as super-natural,

Beyond the natural order of the physical universe.

Miracles are more than what is unexplainable.

Miracles are possible by means of God’s personal intervention, and, therefore,

Will always remain mysterious.


Is Jesus the one?

Report the collected evidence.


Blind people receive the miracle of sight.

Not just one, but many!

Hearing is restored to the deaf.

Not just once, but confirmed by numerous eyewitnesses on several occasions.

The lame walk.

Not just one!

One was let down through a hole cut in the roof,

Another was rolled into the pool of Bethesda.

There were dozens, if not hundreds, of eyewitnesses!


The prophet Isaiah promised:

“Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.”

(Isaiah 35:4-6)


Is Jesus the one?

Report the evidence!


People are healed of chronic, communicable diseases.

Not just one, but a crowd of ten people with leprosy were healed on one occasion!

The poor are given good news.

Not just one homeless person, but everyone at the soup kitchen and in the unemployment line was on the receiving end of good news.


Here’s the clincher,

The most impressive piece of observable evidence:


The dead are raised back to life,

Reanimated to a living, breathing human being

Who will live to die another day.


Not just once,

Jesus raised the dead multiple times

In front of hundreds of witnesses.


What did you expect when you went searching for the Messiah?

A beautiful church led by a charismatic pastor who pleases everyone?

A flawless denomination where everyone is unified in belief?

Christianity united in dogma and doctrine?

A perfect world where diseases are cured and life is easy-peasy?


God’s reality far exceeds human expectations or imagination.


The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church in Ephesus, writes

“Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”

(Ephesians 3:20-21)


God is able to accomplish


Far more

Than all we can ask,

Far more

Than all we can imagine.


Watch and listen this season of Advent,

Dearly beloved.

Watch and listen for

All that exceeds our expectations,

All that is super-natural,

All that is divine.


Let us release ourselves from the constraints of our imagination;

To envision Jesus as more than a historical figure,

Whose birthday we celebrate on the twenty-fifth.


What might God have in store for us?

We can hardly imagine, but let us try:

  • Jesus promised to return, not just once, but many times to many disciples and early Christians.
  • Jesus tells us to love God and neighbor, and to bring the entire world to discipleship.
  • Jesus instructed us to actively watch and wait for his return and the completion of his kingdom.


What did you expect?

A prophet?

A messenger to prepare the way?

Another year of carols, cantatas, and pageant plays?


Don’t limit your imagination of what God is doing.

God is bigger than that!


This year, ask of yourself, “What do I expect?”

Know that


What God has in mind

Is more,

Even greater,

Then my highest expectation.


“Preparing a Way”

Romans 15:4-13 and Matthew 3:1-12

8 December 2019

The Rev. Todd R. Goddard, Pastor

Rush United Methodist Church


Matthew 3:1-12


In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.


But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”




Advent’s Gospel passages,

Both last Sunday and today,

Has led me to think deeply,

To ponder this question:

With Christ’s promised return

What needs to be done to prepare a way forward?



In other words,

What do I need to do as an individual,

And what do we need to do collectively as a Church,

To prepare a way forward

In our life

And in our world?

How do we prepare the way for the Lord?


John the Baptist had a vision for a way forward.

How do you draw a crowd in the middle of nowhere?

– If you’re looking for hunters, put out a deer lick.

– If you’re looking for protesters, put in a pipeline.

– If you’re looking for people to build God’s kingdom,

Call the world to confession and repentance.

Then warn them of the judgment that is to come.


Confession, repentance, and judgment.

Yeah, good times.


That might preach in the Bible belt,

But not so much in suburban Rochester.


Who doesn’t want to confess our personal failures, faults, and sins?

For those who don’t want to see or listen,

Who want to go through life in denial,

Confession may be equated with

Scrapping an open wound with a rusty razor blade.


But for the rest of us,

Take a look around.

The world is on fire

And many delight

In its incineration.


Look and see what is being done to the land and to our neighbors.

Listen to cries of those wrongly persecuted,

Violently accused,

Or simply, those unable to defend or care for themselves.

Is this a world we’re happy with?


I’m not happy with myself when I

Make generalized assumptions for the many

Based on the sinful behavior of a few.


I’m not happy with myself standing silently by,

Watching land being stolen, swindled,  or misused for profit or gain.


I’m tired of seeing justice purchased by those who can afford it,

Not by those who deserve it.


We have neighbors around the world fleeing war.

Others are fleeing narco-terrorism and cartels.

While we relax at home bingeing on Disney Plus and Netflix.


Hasn’t our individual and collective sin,

Both intentional and unintentional,

Commission and omission,

Caused enough pain and suffering?


It may not be easy or simple,

It may not be painless or without effort,



But the only path forward,

To prepare the way for the Lord’s coming,

Is the pathway that leads us through the valley of confession.


Confession is a dark valley

Where few willingly enter.

The pain is real, but the rewards are great.


Repentance clears the path through this valley.

Repentance clears all the rubble and destruction blocking our forward progress.

Repentance brings low the mighty

And lifts up the lowly.

Repentance crosses previously unpassable ravines,

Broken relationships, and festering wounds.

Repentance paves a highway for our God.


The rewards of confession and repentance

Is a life lived with Christ and in Christ,

Spirit filled,

Driving with power and authority the completion of the kingdom of God.


John the Baptist plunged the newly confessed

Under Jordan’s icy waters,

With a baptism of repentance,

Lifting them up,

Sending forth each newly baptized individual in a new direction,

Giving each a new vision

For preparing the way

And building God’s kingdom.


Confession identifies the way forward.

Repentance clears the way forward.

But what keeps us making forward progress?


A quick read of our Gospel

Might lead us to belief that fear of judgment is the answer.

If you and I fear the Lord’s judgment enough,

Then that fear will keep us from straying, erring, and sinning.

To which I ask:

How’s that working for you?


Fear is a terrible motivator.

Empty cathedrals in Europe stand

In silent witness to the truth that

Fear is a terrible motivator.


It hasn’t worked for the Church.

Fear doesn’t work for nations or states, either.

We should be on guard

To never wield the threat of fear

On behalf of the moral high ground,

Divine righteousness,

Or in the name of God.


The thorough read of the Gospel

Identifies the nature and purpose of fear.

Pharisees and Sadducees had come from Jerusalem

To be baptized by John.


They were undercover spies for the religious establishment;

Decision makers of the Temple.

Their role and purpose was to protect organized Judaism at all costs.

Their role was not serving the Lord or His people.

Their role was self-perseveration.


If organized religion has become poisoned, pathological,

And is engaged in pacifying the populous

Wielding the bully club of fear,

It is time for those responsible in Church leadership

To be separated from the wheat

And burned in unquenchable fire.


Yes. You heard me right.


Christ is coming to bring judgment

Upon those who use fear as a motivator for self-preservation,

For building up personal wealth,

For enlarging their kingdom of power.

That judgment is devastating

And it is permanent.



Work for Christ.

Live for Christ.

That’s how to avoid fear of the threshing floor.


The Gospel of Matthew

And the actions of John the Baptist

Point us in the direction of a way forward.


But what does it actually mean

To make progress

In preparing the world

For Christ to come?


The Apostle Paul provides some amazing insight

In the fifteenth chapter of his letter to the Church in Rome.


Paul’s landscape of faith was as divided in his day

As today’s American political landscape.

Paul’s religious reality was as divided in his day

As the Church is divided in our world today.

Paul was facing an uphill battle against those

Who had been Jews

But were now converted, baptized disciples of Jesus.

They claimed an exclusive inside-track to Christian perfection

Simply because they were children of Abraham,

Chosen by God.


Yet, God had called Paul to fish other seas,

To cast his net of discipleship to the Gentiles of the world,

Who lived beyond the horizon,

Especially to those who had no Jewish background.

It was, and is, God’s desire to be inclusive of all people,

To welcome everyone to Jesus’ feet

And everyone to feast at His table.


“God so loved the world …”

(John 3:16)


Preparing the way for the Lord to come

Means that


every disciple of Christ has an obligation

To live a life of radical, inclusive, authentic hospitality

For the complete transformation of the world.


Welcome the stranger,

even if they are immigrating from a foreign land.

Extend hospitality to the sojourner who is just passing through.

Give abundant encouragement,

A hand out and a hand up,

To those who are following behind in their journey of faith,

Just as others had done for us.

Welcome every person,

Regardless of history, record, or reputation.

Welcome everyone as a child of God and

As a person of worth.

Welcome all for the glory of God.


Welcoming everyone is harder than it sounds.

We naturally like to surround ourselves with those

Who think like us, act like us, look like us, and share the same values as we do.


Welcoming all requires us to expand our world view,

To expand our cultural boundaries,

To learn and listen to the needs of others.

Just as the Apostle Paul set out across the known world

So too should we.


Welcoming is an attitude that can begin anywhere.

One does not need to travel far to be a welcoming friend.

Welcoming is an intentional effort to expand our experience and world view;

To serve a meal at the soup kitchen,

To attend a Christmas party

at a local day program or supervised apartment complex,

To deliver meals on wheels

Or ring a bell.


Include everyone God sends our way

Into a circle of fellowship and friends

With the warmth of God’s love.


Welcoming often leads one further afield,

To cast off from the lakeshore,

To search other seas.

Like the Apostle Paul,

Welcoming one in the name of Jesus Christ

Prepares the way for Christ to return,

Not only here in Rush,

But also in Rome, New York and

Tecpan, Guatemala.


Traveling to Israel next month

Is not only a pilgrimage to the land of our faith,

But also an opportunity to extend welcome and friendship

In the name of Jesus Christ

With everyone we meet,

With everyone God sends our way.


Authentic, welcoming hospitality,

Making friends in the name of Jesus,

Leads to harmony.

If ever our divided world needed harmony,

It is today.


Our God of steadfastness and encouragement

Wants us to live in harmony with one another,

“in accordance with Christ Jesus,

so that together

you may with one voice

glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

– Romans 15:5-6


Harmony is the means to a Divine purpose …

To glorify God.

Regardless of your depth of faith or mine,

Living in harmony, glorifying God,

Is a whole lot better than

Living as adversaries,

Divided and at each other’s throats.


In an environment of hospitality and harmony,

Hope is possible.

Hope is probable.

Hope is certain to take root and grow

Until Christmas morning

When the hope of the world blossoms and blooms;

Becomes man,

One of us,

God in Christ

Born a child

Given to us as a gift

To save you and me

And to save our world.


Prepare the way,

O people of Israel!

Prepare the way,

Disciples of Christ.

Make your confessions.

Turn back from your former sinful ways.


Welcome with Christian love the stranger, the sojourner, the visitor.

Extend radical hospitality to acquaintances

And welcome them as friends.

This is how hope is created.

This is how harmony leads to peace and

justice spreads across the land.


This is how the preparation of Advent

Leads to the return of Christ,

All for the glory of God.

Prepare the way!

Prepare the way for the Lord!