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Showing posts from December, 2008

The 6th Day of Christmas

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.
News Year Eve is the 6th day of Christmas. It is a fitting mid-way point for the 12 days of Christmas that lead to Epiphany. We have celebrated in this song symbols of God – the true love.
He has given us:
His Son: The Partridge in the Pear Tree
His Word in Old & New Testament – statements of his faithfulness and covenanted love: Two turtle doves
His Character to tell us who/what he is – Faith, Hope, and Love: Three French Hens
The Gospels Tell of His Son, Jesus’ life – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John: Four Calling Birds
The Torah, Moses’ books that begin the God Story – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy: Five Golden Rings
NOW, today we celebrate the beginning of the beginning books – Creation. In the 6 Geese a laying there is birth. The beginning of Genesis recounts the story of cre…

The Fifth Day of Christmas

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

The days after Christmas are celebrated for 12 days leading to Epiphany on January 6th. At a time in which Catholicism was banned in 16th century England, clerics developed the 12 days of Christmas to teach the faith to children – and as well, probably to adults.
The True Love = God
The Partridge = Jesus
The Two Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments, portrayals of God’s covenanted, faithfulness.
The Three French Hens = The Character of God represented in Faith, Hope, and Love.
The Four Calling Birds = The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John which faithfully proclaim the life and ministry of Jesus.
The Five Golden Rings = The Foundation for God’s revelation in the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
A Reading:
Deuteronomy 30:11-20 (NIV)
11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you …

The Third & Fourth days of Christmas

After falling behind – first time in this Advent season – I’m combining the 3rd and 4th days of Christmas.
On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Christ Jesus is the partridge in the pear tree – a testament to the partridge’s willingness to die for her young. The two turtle doves can be thought of God’s faithful covenanted love which we bear witness to in both the Old and New Testaments (see the previous two blogs).
On this third day God (my true love) gave to each of us three great aspects of his character and virtue: “Faith, Hope and Love”.
Our Reading:
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (NRSV)
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant
5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. But a…

The Second Day of Christmas

The 2nd Day of Christmas – Two Turtle Doves
The days between Christmas and January 6th – which is Epiphany – were known as the “12 Days of Christmas”. If you have not read the blog from yesterday, Dec. 26th, you might want to go back and take a look at the background for these days after Christmas.
Most of us know these days through the song – “The Twelve Days Of Christmas”, which begins:
On the first day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
Two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree.
The 2nd day of Christmas is God’s gift of the Two turtle doves. I have to admit, from early boyhood the idea of a turtle and a dove brought weird images to my mind. I wasn’t sure whether the song was saying the true love gave a turtle or a dove, but it was confusing to try to put the two together.
Why two turtledoves? What is the significance of there being two? The clerics from the 16th century were using a familiar…

The First Day of Christmas

Our Reading:

Luke 2:8-14 (NASB)
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 "This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

Welcome to the 12 days of Christmas:

The day after Christmas Day – depending upon where you live – is either the first day of returning presents, or, it’s the first day of post…

Christmas Day Savior

Our Christmas Day Reading:

Luke 2:4-20 (NASB)
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lo…

Christmas Eve For Little People

An Advent Reading:

Luke 2:1-20 (NASB)
1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.
2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.


A Christmas Eve for Little People - Meditation

If you and I could have picked up the Jerusalem Post Newspaper on this day, what might have we read in the headlines of the day?
• “Ceasar’s tax decree create scarce accommodation…

Shipwrecks in the Nativity

Our Readings:

Luke 2:1-14 (NASB)
1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.
2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they wer…

Word Made Flesh

Advent Readings:
2 Corinthians 4:6 (NASB)
6 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
John 1:1-18 (NASB)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.
8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
11 He came t…

Advent Poetry Only God Could Do

The fourth week of Advent has as its theme: LOVE.
The previous three weeks had as their themes: PROMISE, FAITH, AND HOPE. God had promised to Israel a coming Messiah – the law and the prophets had testified of this. Those who longed for his coming cried out to God for the Advent of the Messiah.
Those who trusted in God had faith to believe the unbelievable; and their hope was that God would do what he had promised.
What they longed for, and looked for, was one who would come to deliver them from their Roman oppression. What they didn’t understand, perceive, or believe, was that God was going to send his Son through a virgin as a baby – hidden from everyone save a few shepherds and a young poor Jewish couple.
All of this was an act of God’s love. He came to bring His Kingdom upon the earth, and to make a way through the obedience of His Son to sow the seed of His Kingdom – a seed, like yeast in the dough that would grow and grow until the whole world confesses Jesus Christ is Lor…

Joseph - God Knows

A Reading:

Matthew 1:1-25 (NASB)
1 The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
3 Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram.
4 Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon.
5 Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse.
6 Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.
7 Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa.
8 Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah.
9 Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
10 Hezekiah was the father…

Mary's Magnificat

A Reading:

Luke 1:46-56 (NASB)
46 And Mary said: "My soul exalts the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 "For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
49 "For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name.
50 "And His mercy is upon generation after generation Toward those who fear Him.
51 "He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
52 "He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble.
53 "He has filled the hungry with good things ; And sent away the rich empty-handed.
54 "He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his descendants forever."
56 And Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home.

Advent Meditation:

Read the pr…

Elisabeth and Mary

An Advent Reading:

Luke 1:24-25 (NASB)
24 After these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant, and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying,
25 "This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among men."

Luke 1:36-37 (NASB)
36 "And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month.
37 "For nothing will be impossible with God."

Luke 1:39-45 (NASB)
39 Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah,
40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43 "And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my …

Of The Father's Love Begotten

Today’s Readings:

John 1:1-14 (NASB)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.
8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
13 who were born, not of b…

Which King Are We Looking For?

Please Note the Prayer Request at the end:

Four Readings:

Luke 1:31-33 (NASB)
31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.
32 "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;
33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end."

Psalm 2:7 (NASB)
7 "I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

2 Samuel 7:8-17 (NASB)
8 "Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts, "I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel.
9 "I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth.
10 "I will also appoint a place for My people Isra…

Advent and Mary

A Reading:

Luke 1:26-38 (NASB)
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth,
27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you."
29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.
30 The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.
31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.
32 "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;
33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end."
34 Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"
35 The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit…

Advent Sunday, Week 3

The first week of Advent emphasized PROMISE. God had promised through the prophets the coming of one who would bring freedom for captives, light for those in darkness, and the reign of God’s Kingdom upon the earth.

The second week of Advent emphasized FAITH. Not all of those who received word of the promise being fulfilled responded in faith. Zechariah was one of those, and yet God still broke through the barriers of human fallibility to bring about his fulfillment.

This week, the third week of Advent, we emphasize HOPE. Faith is the evidence of things “hoped” for…the evidence of which is not seen (Heb 11:1). We know that Jesus has come, and we hope for his coming again. Those in the first Advent had hope for a Messiah to come. They had prayed for it, and they hoped for it. Still hope is an active exercise of faith. It is the willingness to align ourselves in character and obedience to the fulfillment of what is “hoped for”, but not yet seen.

Romans 8:24-25 (NASB)
24 For in hope…

St. Lucia's Day in Advent

Read – (one last time! ),

Luke 1:5-25 (MSG)
5 During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth.
6 Together they lived honorably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God.
7 But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old.
8 It so happened that as Zachariah was carrying out his priestly duties before God, working the shift assigned to his regiment,
9 it came his one turn in life to enter the sanctuary of God and burn incense.
10 The congregation was gathered and praying outside the Temple at the hour of the incense offering.
11 Unannounced, an angel of God appeared just to the right of the altar of incense.
12 Zachariah was paralyzed in fear.
13 But the angel reassured him, "Don't fear, Zachariah. Your prayer has been h…