Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fourth Week of Advent: Love

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.  And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. Deuteronomy 10:17-19

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

This week we light the Advent candle of Love.  We remember the love of God for all mankind and look forward to the day when that love has its fullest expression at the end of history.  We long for the day when love is truly the new law and we patiently and diligently work to make that a reality sooner rather than later.  Followers of Christ, compelled by love, expand it’s borders each and every day.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent Week 3: Joy

A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more.  Matthew 2:18 

So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. John 16:22

This week of Advent we are supposed to light the candle of Joy.  It is supposed to symbolize the joy that we feel at the coming of Christ and the joy we will experience when he finally sets the world right at the end of all things.  It is supposed to be an inspiration to us to embrace the good news that will be a great joy to all people.

It is hard to be joyful today.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Second Week of Advent: Peace

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  Ephesians 2:17

Monday, December 3, 2012

First week of Advent: Hope

"The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering."  Exodus 3:7

"The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness

a light has dawned."  Isaiah 9:2

Advent began around the 4th or 5th century as a way to celebrate “the arrival” of Christ.  Like Mary we wait expectantly for the coming birth of Christ and like all our brothers and sisters before us we also wait for Christ's final coming at the end of history.  We celebrate what God has already done and look forward to what he is going to do in the future.