Potsdam United Methodist Church
Where we let Jesus shine! Where we invite, love and nurture ALL!
Sunday Worship
11:00am Service
12:00pm Fellowship
Pastor Rev. Brooke Newell
Secretary Donna McDonald
315-265-7474

God's Justice

Listen to the Sermon or the Entire Service

December 14:

Call:       John 1: 6-9
Reading:    W&S #2
Text:       Isaiah 61: 1-3, 8, 11
Closing:    1 Thessalonians 5: 12-24

            God's Justice

I am excited!

I am excited that today
our Sunday School students enrich our worship experience
I am excited because in ten days we will gather together
    For a Christmas Eve service that I believe
        Will be joyous, meaningful, and moving
I am excited because
    Over the last two days my own holiday season
        has been made a greater treasure
        by the musical sharing
            of the Adirondack Singers
            and a bunch of lower brass players
                at the Merry Tuba Christmas Concert

But most of all this morning, I am excited because
    I have found and I get to share
        A great Advent hymn
            That has existed for decades
            But which we have never thought of as a hymn,
- let alone an Advent hymn.

This hymn is not in our hymnal or in our song books
    In fact, it is not in any hymnal or Christian song book
that I have ever seen.
I have never sung it - or heard it sung -
    As part of any congregation's preparation for Christmas

BUT,    when I read and reread this morning's text
    I kept hearing this song in my head and in my heart

AND,    when I read and reread the words to the song
    I kept hearing the voice of Isaiah.

We've heard from Isaiah the last two weeks.
We will hear from him again today in our text.

And we hear from him in the words of the song
That has pursued and spoken to me throughout this week

If I had a hammer,
I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening,
All over this land

I'd hammer out danger,
I'd hammer out a warning,
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

If I had a bell,
I'd ring it in the morning,
I'd ring it in the evening,
All over this land

I'd ring out danger,
I'd ring out a warning
I'd ring out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.
If I had a song,
I'd sing it in the morning,
I'd sing it in the evening,
All over this land

I'd sing out danger,
I'd sing out a warning
I'd sing out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

Well I got a hammer,
And I got a bell,
And I got a song to sing, all over this land.

It's the hammer of Justice,
It's the bell of Freedom,
It's the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

It's the hammer of Justice,
It's the bell of Freedom,
It's the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

And that, my friends, is Isaiah in someone else's words
    For the people had been exiled
    And when they returned to Jerusalem
        To rebuild the city and the temple
        They encountered problems

And so they cried out for the hammer of justice
    To cure the injustice they felt
And they pleaded for the bell of freedom
    To overcome the oppression they experienced
And they sought a song of love
    To replace the shouts of dissention and anger

And God, heard Isaiah's cries and pleas
And Isaiah conveyed God's promises
    To send the messiah
        To establish justice, freedom, and love.

And because Isaiah lived 2,500 years ago
    He's sometimes complicated for us to understand

And so Pete Seeger and Lee Hays wrote these words
And Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers sang them out
in a way that still captivates us and gets our attention

The song captures so much of the prophet's message.
    Including this morning's text.  [Isaiah 61: 1-3, 8, 11]

The hammer of Justice is Jesus Christ
Who will judge with justice
Justice for all - not just the wealthy and powerful -

The bell of Freedom is Christ's Cross
On which he hung so that the oppressed and the imprisoned
might have freedom from sin and death

The song about Love between my brothers and my sisters
is Christ's teaching    by word     and by example
    and the sharing of his word and story by his church
        all over this land.



We are preparing to welcome and to celebrate God's son
    Who was sent to bring to the oppressed
the good news of justice - which God loves
    to proclaim liberty and freedom to captives and prisoners
and to sing and teach love between our brothers and sisters
        that righteousness and praise will spring up
            before all the nations and all over this land.

We prayed and prepared for the hammer, the bell, and the song.

And on Christmas we will be able to proclaim that we received
what Isaiah said would be our Christmas gift

For we will have gotten a hammer,
And we will have gotten a bell,
And we will have gotten a song to sing, all over this land.

For Jesus Christ is indeed the hammer of Justice,
Jesus Christ is the bell of Freedom,
and Jesus Christ is the song
about Love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.