This is the message for the fourth week in Advent. The scripture for this week is Isaiah 7:10-16. Jesus is called Emmanuel in Matthew’s gospel, and it comes from this section of Isaiah. What does that mean?
Posts in category advent
This is the message for the third week in Advent. The scripture for this week is Isaiah 35:1-10. People long for hope and redemption and that hope is connected to Christmas.
This is the message for the first week in Advent. The scripture for this week is Isaiah 11:1-10. There is good news for the vulnerable – where are you vulnerable?
This is the message for the first week in Advent. The scripture for this week is Isaiah 2:1-5. What does it mean to live lives of peace as citizens of the Kingdom of God?
“Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised; for these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, whom you have prepared for all the world to see: a Light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.” -Luke 2:29-32 (The prayer of Simeon)
The prayer of Simeon is included in a couple of my prayer books that I have used for daily prayer. It has had a special place in my heart for a couple of years now, ever since my wife’s sister named her boy, “Simeon.” My nephew comes to mind each time I pray it, as does Anne’s sister. And I am grateful for them.
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“Most of us habitually miss it every year at Christmas. Our story is consumption and consumerism, and we’re obsessed with the climax. We worship less. We spend more. We give less. We struggle more.”
-from Advent Conspiracy by Rick McKinley, Chris Seay, and Greg Holder
I have great childhood memories of Christmas. It’s funny though, I remember only a few specific gifts. What I do remember is the excitement and anticipation. I remember how the time was special. We had special meals with extended family. We opened gifts together. I remember listening to Christmas music on the radio. Somewhere along the line of growing up, Christmas became a really crazy and busy time. I found it was too full of time commitments and there was not enough space to really contemplate anything, let alone the miracle and mystery of the Incarnation of Christ. And speaking of Christ, I also began to realize that the season ought to be shaped more by Jesus than by buying and receiving gifts, but that wasn’t true in my life. Was Christmas supposed to be a perpetual chasing of a nostalgic childhood joy while simultaneously fending off the shame of not fully recognizing the arrival of the Christ child? It’s exhausting.
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