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.
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.
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!
11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.
Some prayers begin “Intimate, infinite God. God is both with us every moment and a God beyond our understanding. He is always there for us. There is always help at hand. Depend on it!
Amazing God, you are always present for us during the good and the bad. Thank you for loving us so much. AMEN
6 The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,
silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
We can count on the promises that God has made. We also have to understand that there are some things he did not promise. Life will not be perfect but God did promise to be by our side through it all. His strength will be our strength. His promises are never forgotten.
Faithful God, help us to feel your strength in times of trouble. Remind us that you are faithful. AMEN
Psalm 8: 1-2
1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
2 I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
We read these words but do we follow them? How often do we tell about the thing the Lord has done for us? I have mentioned before that a friend calls God’s intervention in our lives “the arangels at work.” I try to remember to share how that happens in my life but usually only with those who understand it. I need to share more with others. They may scoff and tell me it’s “coincidence” but that’s fine. Maybe they will see my belief as “something more.”
Tell about God’s marvelous works. He continues to work today. Sing his praises!
Amazing God, thank you for your work in our lives. Remind us to share it with others. AMEN
The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. ————-Laurie Colwin
We gather around our tables with our friends and families. This is the place we feel at home. It is a place of comfort.
As Christians our table, our place of comfort is at the communion table. It is where our Christian family meets and feeds on the word of God and the wine and bread. It is our home.
Loving God, you provide our spiritual home among other Christians. Remind us to meet at the table and feast. AMEN
Praying shapes believing.-—————— Lionel L. Mitchell
Praying not only shapes believing but it also enhances it. The more time we spend in prayer the closer we become with God. Too often we think that prayer time has to be planned and formed. This is so wrong. Prayer can be just a moment where we want to thank God or tell him something….just like speaking to a friend. Rmember God is always there and hears us.
Nurturing God, you hear our every thought and prayer. Help us to tell you our thoughts at any moment. When we pray you hear. AMEN
Storms make trees take deeper roots. —————Dolly Parton
When things happen to rock my world I tend to reach out for God. Each storm moves me further into his arms and brings me closer to him. I am grateful that this is my response. Sometimes bad things can make us turn away from God. We that happens we miss the solace of being held in loving arms.
Loving God, thank you for your care for us and help us to reach for you in all the storms of this life. AMEN
Today has not been a good day. I have lost an important keepsake. These things happen to us. Not everything is good. The thing is when we have these days God is there to hold us and cry with us. He will join us in our sorrow and bring us peace.
Caring God, you will be with us when we have bad days. You will wipe away our tears. We thank you. AMEN
Our feelings and moods change from day to day. Today we may feel that God is close and our faith is strong. Tomorrow God may feel distant and we question. Sometimes our faith is challenged by something painful and we may back away from God. But God never changes and is always there waiting.
Present God, thank you for putting up with our moods and feelings. Thank you for always being present no matter what we feel. Help us to see your presence. AMEN