Today we continue to look forward to the birth of Jesus. It comes close to the shortest day of the year and the time when we start back toward more light.The light of Christ is coming into the world.
I don’t think there is any data to tell us exactly the date of Jesus’ birth but this is when we celebrate it and that is fine. A time set aside for us to remember the birth of the baby that changed the world.
Amazing god, help to remember why we celebrate. AMEN
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 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.
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.
It is a night prayer from the liturgy “Night Prayer” from the New Zealand Prayer Book. I have long love the prayer and have shared it before but it fits advent perfectly and is worth sharing again. I use it every night before sleep. Peace be with you.
it is night.
The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.
The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives
rest in you.
The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
Some people have never heard of Advent. They may not be Christian or espouse any God at all but in this season there is a difference in the air. In the time building up to Christmas there is more focus on the needy and homeless. Collections are made for children, food is collected, the Salvation Army and others receive more help. We are more generous and there is a spirit of compassion abounding. It seems that advent calls for generosity and kindness.Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanakkuh or only the commercial aspects this season changes people The spirit of the holidays is around us and yes, it is something more.
Caring God, help us to carry this spirit into the new year. AMEN
We are waiting. Most of the time we don’t wait patiently. We want things to happen now! We are poor examples of your love but we know there is better to come. We have to wait for the goodness that on the way. Spend the time in advent looking forward to the birth of Christ. A blessed baby sent to redeem us and show us how to live each day.
Amazing God, you knew we didn’t understand you and so you sent your son. Thank you. AMEN