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.
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.
Creator of the stars of night, your people’s everlasting light. O Christ, Redeemer of us all, we pray you hear us when we call. That petition, from the hymn we just sang, is translated from an ancient Latin hymn written in the ninth century. Originally, it was written to be sung in the evening, at […]
via creator of the stars | Luke 21:25-36 — red clay rubric
Philippians 4:6 ESV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Today I am using this verse instead of a Psalm with thanks to Deb at https://godshapedheart.wordpress.com. She used this verse in a post just when I needed it. This week the arangels were at work. I lost something precious to me and found it the next day. I did ask God to help me in my search and this verse speaks so clearly. There are so many times in the Bible that God reminds us to ask him for help. You’d think we would learn. For those of us who seek God the lesson is clear. God speaks…we just have to listen.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
We can go into the valley without fear. There will be valleys. Life just goes that way. But God will be with us. His loving watch over us will never cease.
Loving God, thank you for your presence. Thank you for your love. AMEN
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
This is probably the most loved Psalm. I have always found these beginning verses intriguing. “He makes me lie down in green pastures.” The word “make” implies that there is some coercion to get this to happen. It seems that we don’t want to. If you think about us humans this makes sense. We just keep going. We don’t want to let go. Yet God is telling us there is time for rest and we must use it. He does not mean watching TV or running a marathon. He was us to “lie down.” He not only wants us to lie down but in green pastures. A real resting place. One that requires us to rest our bodies and our minds. Remember this!
Lord, you want us take real “down time.” Help us to remember that we must have that refreshment of our souls. AMEN
6 But I am a worm, and not human;
scorned by others, and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock at me;
they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;
8 “Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—
let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”
Times are changing. Belief in God used to be the norm. Now we are sometimes mocked for our faith. We are treated with disdain. This is the time to hold fast. Time to strengthen our faith and depend on our God.
Dependable God, we trust in your love. Help us to withstand the pressures from outside and remain steadfast in you. AMEN
7 Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.
8 They will collapse and fall,
but we shall rise and stand upright.
Some take pride in houses, some in cars, some in clothes, some in jobs, some in money. There are so many things out there to lure us away from what is important. Our culture expects us to want possessions. Those things will go away. As some say “you can’t take it with you.” But God’s love can never go away.
God of our fathers, help us to ignore the lures of possessions and remember what is important. AMEN