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Category Archives: Advent

A Centurion’s Faith

5When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him6and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” 7And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 8The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 10When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. (Matthew 8:5-10, NRSV)

Do we have the faith of this man?

Do we believe that God will do for us what God has said God will do, or do we question it because we haven’t seen it?

Do we wonder if the promise is true because we have not felt it or had the answers we thought we would?

Do we believe it because God said it or do we question it and wonder until it happens?

Trust shows through our actions. Let us live like this centurion, knowing that God’s promises are true and show that faith to the world.

 

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The Promise of Immanuel

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted. The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on your ancestral house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria.” (Isaiah 7:10-17, NRSV)

The young woman is with child and she will bear a son and you will name him Immanuel. For He will be God with us!

For unto us a son is given and He will bear everything on His shoulders. On this most holy night when we celebrate the birth of Jesus our Savior, let us not forget that He is a gift for all of creation.

The best present we all get today is that Mary and Joseph believed the angels and followed through with the plan and had a child and that child is the Savior of the whole world.

Share the love that Jesus gave to us with all of the world.

 

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Joseph trusts God

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25, NRSV)

I try to live my life like Joseph. You see Joseph is a man of integrity. He was about to marry Mary and he found out that she was with child Well this voided the wedding and also would wind Mary up being stoned. But you see Joseph knew that that wasn’t the right thing, so he was going to end things with Mary, but not bring her to public shame so she wouldn’t be killed. He looked out for what was right.

Do we look out for what is right?

For what is Just?

For what is best for everyone?

Do we trust God to lead us through life showing His love to all the world?

Let us rejoice as we wait for Jesus to be born and share the grace and love He has given to us with all of the world.

 

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Seek the Lord

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. (Isaiah 55:6-13, NRSV)

When your glass is empty what do you do?

Isaiah tells us to seek the Lord when He may be found. You see when we seek after the Lord and follow where He is leading our cup will be filled.

We will never have an empty cup if we follow after God.

That is the hope of the one who seeks after God?

How full is your cup?

 

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Come to the Waters

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. (Isaiah 55:1-5, NRSV)

Have you ever gotten anything for free?

Actually for free, nit free because it is included in the price of admission?

You see what God gives us in His grace is something that is free. We can not buy it, we can not earn it.

We are all invited to the waters and the table to get our fill. That is the hope of this season!

 

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The Lord’s Servant, part 2

Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:1-12, NRSV)

He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

By his punishment we are healed. We are brought back into a right relationship with God through the unjust suffering of God’s servant.

And all of this was done way before you were here. God loves you and wants to give you the life He has for you.

As we wait this Advent in hope and expectation, let us not forget what will happen to this baby born in a manger and the baby was born knowing what would happen. If that isn’t the only gift we need, I’m not sure what could out do it.

Hope and love this advent as we help the world see the grace in the eyes of a baby.

 

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The Lord’s Servant, part 1

See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. Just as there were many who were astonished at him—so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals— so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate. (Isaiah 52:13-15, NRSV)

God’s servant was marred beyond human semblance…

Rulers couldn’t speak or wouldn’t speak before him.

This sounds more like Good Friday than waiting for Christmas. But remember that the prophets of God told the people about the coming Messiah and what would happen to him. These stories were, and are, stories of hope for us.

The Messiah faced terrible things for you. And as we await his birth in manger, let us help the world wait and learn what his birth is really about.

 

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