Thursday, December 4, 2008

Advent cont'd

As promised, here are the final 3 days of narrative and scripture readings so that you can complete your own Advent wreath. As it stands, we are approaching the 2nd Sunday of Advent so you are not behind at this time. Feel free to print my post from yesterday and today and save for a later date or why not put it into practice today. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Week 3 Shepherd's Candle

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." Luke 2: 8-15

In the days prior to the arrival of Christ, Shepherds were prevalent on the landscape of the surrounding towns. They were also believers in the Law and Scriptures. So much so, that even while they kept a close watchful eye over the flock, they were ever scanning the horizon for signs of the coming King. They knew and they believed He would come and they didn’t want to miss it. They made sure they were prepared to act the moment prophesies were fulfilled.

To get back to the true meaning of Christmas, we should rely on His promise to shelter and care for us by getting back to the quietness of our soul and spending time with the one who created us. I encourage you to lay down the chaos and burdens of the season and experience the oneness that a personal relationship with Christ will bring.

Week 4 Angel Candle

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary.The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God

Luke 1:26-35

Young Mary was a Jewish girl. More than likely she knew of prophesies concerning the coming Messiah. She also heard the scriptures and teachers of the Law proclaim the news. Plus, her family possibly participated in the cultural traditions of the day. Imagine what she felt when the Angel Gabriel appeared and told her that she was highly favored and would be the one to carry the Christ child. Imagine what she was thinking…..

Has the Lord ever impressed something upon your heart or spirit that you had a hard time wrapping your mind around and/or others would have a hard time believing? The truth is that God is still in the business of delivering good news to those who are highly favored – folks just like you and me. If only we just make ourselves available to listen and believe. Just like Mary and others in the Bible, we never know how big of an impact our willing hearts can have on the world.

Week 5 THE Christ Candle

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2: 1-7

We can all celebrate because “unto us a Savior has been born.” All prophesies were true and complete – a virgin girl gave birth to the promised King in a meager little stable in the town of Bethlehem. The shepherds kept their watch and followed the signs in order to worship the Messiah. This is the reason we go through the Advent season -- to remind us all of what Christ went through for you and for me... Not only His birth, but His death/burial/resurrection and now the promise of his coming again to take us Home with Him!! He is the reason we journey back to Bethlehem. You and I can carry Bethlehem in our hearts at Christmas and all year through. Please won’t you come Back to Bethlehem?

I pray that the Lord will bless you and keep you during this most Holy of Holiday seasons!


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