Receive the answers

existence

We pray to God for many things. We pray for others, for health, about out daily lives. The list is too long to list. Sometimes our prayers are answered but it is not the answer we wanted. The answer can make us question how our beliefs. That can be scary. Don’t worry. Those answers will cause us to grow in the knowledge of God and his ways.

Our viewing point

gods eye view

It is not our responsibility to protect God. God can take care of Himself/Herself. Too often someone will want to defend their view of God. They want everyone else to understand what God wants. The trouble is it is what God wants according to them. Let us not fall into the trap of defending God. I truly believe God is fine. Just trust that, if blessed, you will hear God tell you the plans for you. He/She will not be interested in updating you about others. We each have our own perspective….our viewing point is not God’s.

Saved by grace through faith

saved-by-grace-through-faithEphesians 2:7-10 —definition of grace

that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God— not because of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

We can’t earn our way with God. We have been granted grace through the sacrifice of Christ. None of us can say we are better than another. We are the same…god’s creation.

We were created to do good works. Not to win any awards or make ourselves noticed but to follow God’s plan for us.

Grace is a gift.  Accept it.

Can we know everything?

Christianity cannot be bound by ethnicity or nationality. This puts it in essential conflict with any group that wants to domesticate the message for its own “patriotic” purposes–Richard Rohr

mind-of-god

Rohr’s quote may go against the grain with some. If you follow through with this thought it would also include denominations who feel that if you don’t agree with their ideas you are on the outside. Christianity must be inclusive. It takes in everyone. Remember we are all wrong about God. Our thoughts are too finite. We can only grasp God with our limited minds. To think otherwise is foolish.  I certainly don’t presume to know the mind of God. Do you?

Follow Jesus

Isaiah has a clear picture of what we wait for during Advent. We wait for Jesus who can show us how to live. His life is our path. Follow it.

isaiah

Isaiah 61: 1-3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

1 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.

The whole thing

Since this is Advent what are we looking forward to….the birth of a baby….not just an ordinary baby but the most amazing gift from God…Himself. He was willing to come to earth and live among us. For me this is amazing. Who would give up heaven? This is as incredible as the resurrection. Some theologians are Resurrection Theologians. They feel that the resurrection is the most important part of Christ’s coming. Some are Incarnational Theologians. They see God coming to earth as the most important. I see it as a whole thing. His coming to earth, his ministry, his death, his resurrection are a whole. In my mind you can’t separate it out. It is indivisible.

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Light one candle

This is the darkest time of the year. Jesus is the light that is coming to us. His light will shine and banish the darkness. In my church one more candle is lit each week to signify that light coming into the world. We are in the darkest time but that light will come!

Loving God, help us to wait with anticipation the coming light. AMEN

You may enjoy this song about lighting the four candles of advent.

Stop and remember!

In churches that follow that sort of pattern it is now Advent. The word “advent” is derived from the Latin “coming.”  The dictionary says it is “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.”

When we are planning for the arrival of someone or something important we usually spend time getting ready. If it is something good we are awaiting we anticipate it with excitement. In this case it is the arrival of a baby.

Remember-The-Reason-For-The-Season-Quotes-011

Waiting for a baby can be exhilarating and exhausting. We buy things for the baby, get a room ready, attend parties and get presents. We count the days.

These are all things we do in this season. However the season has run off the rails. We have forgotten why we are doing all of this. Stop and remember why we are waiting!

Set me high upon a rock

Psalm 27:4-5

One thing I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
    and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will set me high on a rock.

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I love this Psalm. How I would love to live in the house of the Lord. How comforting it is to know that he will shelter me and set me high on a rock. Living in a hurricane zone on an island makes this promise important to me. I can see the water rising in my yard. I can feel safe knowing that I can be higher than the water for God is with me.

Caring God, thank you for your promises. AMEN