Birth and Joy No Thanks To Roy

Kevin shares an idea too logical for government consideration, Hartley comments on the second week of Advent, and they both consider apple a cherry in music preference.

Show Notes: 
  • The average retirement age in the U.S. is 64 years old, with the average retirement age across all states spanning from 61 to 67 years old. The Social Security Act sets the minimum age to retire at 65 to receive full retirement benefits, although the minimum retirement age will continue to rise. 
  • The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services advises:
    • If you apply to start getting retirement benefits from Social Security (or the Railroad Retirement Board) at least 4 months before you turn 65, you’ll automatically get Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) when you turn 65.
    • You’ll still need to make important decisions about how you get your coverage, including adding drug coverage. 
    • If you want to get Medicare when you turn 65, but aren’t planning to take retirement benefits at that time, you’ll need to sign up for Medicare.
    • After you turn 65—Depending on your work situation and if you have health coverage through your employer—you may want to wait to sign up for Medicare.
  • Male college graduates retire three years later than those with only high school diplomas. Women also retire later if they have more education, but the story is less clear because so many more women entered the workforce throughout the latter half of the 20th century. In 1992, the average retirement age for men was 62, and just 59 for women, according to Dr. Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The most recent Center for Retirement Research data is from 2021, and it represents a slight decline in the average age of retirement, thanks in large part to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Women did dip down in terms of activity because of Covid-19, so that’s not surprising,” says Dr. Munnell.
  • The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College reported that less-educated people are generally in worse health, and are therefore more likely to retire due to health issues. Meanwhile, white collar jobs–which tend to be filled by those with a college education–are less physically demanding, thereby allowing workers to stay employed longer.
  • The Week 2 Advent theme discussed in this episode is: Joy.  
  • Advent Scripture Readings and Prayers:
 Isaiah 11:1-10 — There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might,the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.  And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.
God of Love,
Your son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us.
He is a sign of your love.
Help us walk in that love during the weeks of Advent,
As we wait and prepare for his coming.
We pray in the name of Jesus, our Savior. Amen
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 —True God, bestow Your honest judgments upon the king and anoint the king’s son with Your righteousness.May he be honest and fair in his judgments over Your people and offer justice to the burdened and suffering.Under his reign, may this land of mountains and hills know peace and experience justice for all the people. May the king offer justice to the burdened and suffering, rescue the poor and needy, and demolish the oppressor! May the people fear You for as long as the sun shines, as long as the moon rises in the night sky, throughout the generations.  May the king be like the refreshing rains, which fall upon fields of freshly mown grass— like showers that cool and nourish the earth. May good and honest people flourish for as long as he reigns, and may peace fill the land until the moon no longer rises. May the Eternal God, the God of Israel, be blessed, for He alone works miracles and wonders! May His glorious name be blessed forever and the whole earth be filled with His eternal glory!
Lord Jesus,
Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do and seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day,
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!"
Romans 15:4-13 — You see, everything written in the days of old was recorded to give us instructions for living. We find encouragement through the Scriptures and a call to perseverance that will produce hopeful living. I pray that our God, who calls you and gives you perseverance and encouragement, will join all of you together to share one mind according to Jesus the Anointed. In this unity, you will share one voice as you glorify the one True God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, our Liberating King. So accept one another in the same way the Anointed has accepted you so that God will get the praise He is due. For, as I am fond of saying, the Anointed One has become a servant of the Jews in order to demonstrate God’s truth. Effectively this confirms the promises He made to our ancestors and causes the non-Jewish nations to glorify God for His mercy. As the Scriptures say, For this I will praise You among the nations and sing praises to Your name. Again the Scriptures say, Nations, celebrate with His covenant people. And again, Praise the Lord, all nations. Raise your voices, all people; let your praises flow to God. Again Isaiah says, Then, the root of Jesse will emerge—He rises to rule all the peoples of the world who come to Him for guidance and direction. In Him they place their hope. I pray that God, the source of all hope, will infuse your lives with an abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your faith so that your hope will overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit.
God of power and mercy, open our hearts in welcome. Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy so that we may share his wisdom and become one with him when he comes in glory, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
In the awesome name of God, in the victorious name of Jesus, in the mysterious name of the Spirit, we acknowledge our God, and we wait; we are still, we are silent, and we wait. Amen. 

Matthew 3:1-12 — Around the same time, a man called John began to travel, preach, and ritually wash people through baptism in the wilderness of Judea. John preached a stern but exciting message.
John: Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is near.
John’s proclamation fulfilled a promise made by the ancient prophet Isaiah, who had said, “There will be a voice calling from the desert, saying, Prepare the road for the Eternal One’s journey; repair and straighten out every mile of our God’s highway." John wore wild clothes made from camel hair with a leather belt around his waist—the clothes of an outcast, a rebel. He ate locusts and wild honey. Sometimes when people see John they are reminded of the last time God’s people had wandered in a wilderness—after the exodus from Egypt. John is all about wilderness. He preaches in the wilderness, and he wears clothes just like the prophet Elijah had worn. They think perhaps John is inaugurating a new exodus. Actually, that is a pretty good way to think of it. The Anointed One, whose way John comes to prepare, will call humanity away from comfort and status; He will call His followers to challenge their assumptions and the things they take for granted. People from Jerusalem, all of Judea, and indeed from all around the river Jordan came to John. They confessed their sins, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan. But John is not exactly warm to all those who come to him seeking cleansing. He told some Pharisees and Sadducees who came for the ritual baptism,
John: You children of serpents! You brood of vipers! Did someone suggest you flee from the wrath that is upon us? If you think that simply hopping in the Jordan will cleanse you, then you are sorely mistaken. Your life must bear the fruits of turning toward righteousness. Nor are you correct if you think that being descended from Abraham is enough to make you holy and right with God. Yes, the children of Abraham are God’s chosen children, but God can adopt as daughters and sons anyone He likesHe can turn these stones into sons if He likes. To be made right with God, one must truly repent. It means to turn completely away from sin and completely toward God. Even now there is an ax poised at the root of every tree, and every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and tossed into the fire. I ritually cleanse you through baptism as a mark of turning your life around. But someone is coming after me, someone whose sandals I am not fit to carry, someone who is more powerful than I. He will wash you not in water but in fire and with the Holy Spirit. He carries a winnowing fork in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor; He will gather up the good wheat in His barn, and He will burn the chaff with a fire that cannot be put out.
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