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Showing posts from November, 2011

Second Advent Waiting

With December just around the corner, parents find that for children the waiting for Christmas begins.  Waiting is sometimes so very hard to do.  I know I hate to wait...and I don't mean a little. I have heard that if you live to be seventy years old, you will spend three years of your life just waiting. Waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting in the doctor's office, waiting for lunch to be ready, waiting, just waiting. In his book, "Oh, the Places You'll Go," Dr. Seuss talks about a place called "the waiting place." He describes it as a useless place where people are just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting. Jesus talked about waiting in relation to his return - the second Advent: Mark 13:32-37 (NIV) 32 "No one knows about tha

Messiah Character

Today's reading is from the prophet Isaiah, written some 700 years before Jesus came into the world. Isaiah 11:1-5 (NRSV) 1 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. 3 His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; 4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. 5 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.  Isaiah wrote this in the middle of economic and political chaos - sound familiar?  He speaks in hope of new life coming from that which is seemingly "dead".  And that new

Advent Day 2, "Walking Lights"

Over the weekend we welcomed a new Grandchild into our family.  Iris June came in at 5 lbs, 2 oz. - when I held her in my arms for the first time I said "You are a beautiful, you little peanut". Over the weekend we decorated the house.  Before our little girl made her entrance, Linda, Andy and I went out to our favorite Christmas tree farm and found this years tree.  Then when Linda took off to the hospital, Andy and I decorated the tree.  First we took the lights out and hung them on the tree.  There is a magical moment when you get all of the lights on the tree and turn it on for the first time.  While there is always that "does it look good?", there is more.  I love that moment after darkness settles in, and the tree is decorated, and the lights go on... the lights take over and no matter how soft they be, they are more dominant than the darkness. Think about that this morning as we read these passages from the prophet Isaiah some 700 years before the coming o

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 dese

Advent is Just a Few Days Away...Let's Prepare to Celebrate!

"It's the Most Wonderful time of the Year" says the Christmas song. Christmas is upon us and it is up to each of us as to what the season will mean to us.  For some it's frantic shopping and endless parties/events/programs to seem to take up every day from late November thru Christmas Day.  For others it truly is a magical time of the year.  Not magical in the sense of "magic" but magical in the sense that every day becomes full of an "Advent-ture".  It is Advent - the time when we celebrate and prepare our hearts for the Lord who has come, and will come again. What is Advent?   Advent marks the beginning of the Christmas season and the Church year for most Western churches. The word "Advent" means "arrival" or "coming" in Latin and represents the approach of Christ's birth (and fulfillment of the prophecies about that event)  and   also the awaiting of Christ's second coming. It is composed of the