Skip to main content

2nd Sunday in Advent - Living With Tension

We live in the beautiful tension of the Holiness and Grace of God.
John 1:14,16-17 (NRSV)
14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth.
16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 3:16-17 (NRSV)
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
17 "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

God's holiness leads us to the truth about ourselves, and about the world around us. We, and those around us, indeed the whole world, need a savior. We need grace to counteract the selfishness of our resident sinfulness.
We die to self in receiving the grace of God. It is that grace that relieves us from pretending to be good and allows us to confess and receive from the well of God's grace...and most importantly, it allows us to let others be imperfect and stops our judgment. The grace of Christ offers us forgiveness, love, beauty for ashes, a crown of righteousness for the garments of despair.

Here's a thought for today... The desert father, Abba Moses, gave this instruction: "Do not let dislike dominate your heart."
Why not make a list, hopefully short, but a list nevertheless, of those whom you dislike. Then start with one and pray for their blessing from God. Pray for God's grace to be lavished upon them...pray that your heart will be free of judgment.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Welcome to Advent 2011 - Day 1

Advent is a wonderful opportunity to take time to "ponder" Jesus and the Incarnation.  It is not for "fast food" devotions; but rather, a time for "thinking" about all that God has done in sending his Son - Jesus, our Savior, to the world that ultimately would reject him!

Each day we'll read some scripture...then I'll share some thoughts on the passage and invite you to "comment", so that we can all gain from a wider community of God's people.  Please feel free to "comment" at the end of each post.

Finally there is an encouragement to pray, asking God to make the Word spoken more real in our hearts than we can ever gain from our intellect alone.

TODAY:  We read Isaiah 43:14, 18-21

Thus says the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: … Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? … For I put water in the desert and r…

Joy to the World - Help is On the Way

It’s the first day of Advent– while you prepare for Worship this morning at church take a minute to ask God to direct you through this season that you might be prepared to “receive your King”.

In the first week of Advent we celebrate the PROMISE of His Coming. His promise is based on our need. We were made in his image, but there is emptiness in our soul that is the result of the Fallen nature of sin. But why did Jesus come? What in his coming announces God's heart? His desire for us to know and experience?
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.

GREAT JOY!
Did you know that God is Joyful?
1 CHRONICLES 16:23-27 (NASB)
23 SING TO THE LORD, ALL THE EARTH; PROCLAIM GOOD TIDINGS OF HIS SALVATION FROM DAY TO DAY.
24 TELL OF HIS GLORY AMONG THE NATIONS, HIS WONDERFUL DEEDS AMONG ALL THE PEOPLES.
25 …

The Messy Church

The First letter to the Corinthians is what I started reading a couple of days ago.  I'm just about done with it, and it is a picture of the "Messy" Church.
The Corinthian believers, like all believers in that first century, were newly established in their faith.  They probably were a mixture of both Jewish converts and Gentile believers.  Corinth is a port city in lower Greece, and had a reputation for being a city of perversion...sort of "whatever you want, you can get it in Corinth". In fact, to "Corinthianize" was to commit sexual immorality.  It is in this cultural setting that the church in Corinth comes into being.
The church struggled...division, sexual immorality, along with incest, eating foods that were dedicated to idols/gods, marriage's in struggles, freedom vs license as well as freedom vs. law, men and women in pure relationships, abuses in worship, trouble with use of gifts of the Spirit, and doubts about the resurrection...what a…