Tag Archives: Advent 2014

Advent: Day 6

* This post is part of an Advent devotional, being posted daily during Advent 2014. For an intro to this series of posts, please read the initial post here

Friday: 5 December                  

Read: Isaiah 9:2-7

(Light a candle)

Reflection

A whole new reality suddenly bursts into being within this passage. Darkness is cast off. Oppressive yokes and chains are broken. The battle garments – stained as they are with the mingled blood of victims and perpetrators – are burned. This new reality is announced in harvest-style celebrations. Do you hear the relief in the soldiers’ voices? They are celebrating because war is over. There are no more battles to be fought, no more fear of impending threat or sudden attack. And Isaiah’s audacious assertion is that this peaceable kingdom will arrive with the birth of a child.  Continue reading

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Advent: Day 5

* This post is part of an Advent devotional, being posted daily during Advent 2014. For an intro to this series of posts, please read the initial post here

Thursday: 4 December                  

Read: Isaiah 8:11-18

(Light a candle)

Reflection

We are quick in our culture to use God’s name how ever and whenever we want. Just a few chapters before this one, Isaiah sees God seated in the heavenly throne room. His response to this encounter is to cry out “Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips.” We need not listen long before realizing that Isaiah could just as easily have been talking about our day and age as his own. From OMG in our texts to Jesus’ name as a way of punctuating our sentences with anger or surprise, we have made the holy into a flippant and cheap way of expressing ourselves.  Continue reading

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Advent: Day 4

* This post is part of an Advent devotional being posted daily during Advent 2014. For an intro to this series of posts, please read the initial post here

Wednesday: 3 December                  

Read: Isaiah 4:2-6

(Light a candle)

Reflection

Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken describes in wistful terms how each choice we make and each way we take leads to another way, so that it is impossible to go back and start our journeys over. Through a mixture of not doing what we should do and then doing what we should not do, we find ourselves entangled in broken relationships with each other and estranged from God. Continue reading

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Advent: Day 3

* This post is part of an Advent devotional, being posted daily during Advent 2014. For an intro to this series of posts, please read the initial post here

Tuesday: 2 December                  

Read: Isaiah 2:1-5

(Light a candle)

Reflection

How odd this message must have sounded to those who heard it first. Instead of the typical religious mantra of “Save us from those who are not like us” this passage describes a coming kingdom in which all the nations will come to the mountain of the Lord. There, the Lord will teach the nations and judge between them, leading to a new and almost unthinkable reality: the nations of the world will turn their instruments of violence into tools that cause the earth itself to flourish.  Continue reading

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Advent: Day 2

* This post is part of an Advent devotional, being posted daily during Advent 2014. For an intro to this series of posts, please read the initial post here

Monday: 1 December 

Read: Isaiah 1:1-4

(Light a candle)

Reflection

The confrontational tone and accusations of Isaiah’s opening verses sound so out of place with the festive décor in the stores and streets around us. Channels of Christmas cheer inundate our early morning commute and our morning latte. Vibrant greens, animated reindeer, and the jingling bells at the Salvation Army kettle are much more familiar, much more fitting to our seasonal sensibilities. Isaiah’s bold declaration of our rebellion against God clashes with the rhythms and priorities of our North American culture, especially in this ‘holiday’ season. Continue reading

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Advent: Day 1 – 1st Sunday

* This post is part of an Advent devotional, being posted daily during Advent 2014. For an intro to this series of posts, please read the initial post here

First Sunday of Advent: 30 November – A Glimmer of Hope

Our Context               

It’s not a new story. The world God created very good and full of light has been dragged into the mire of our sins and cloaked in a hopeless darkness. We feel the hopelessness in the weakness of our bodies. We hear it in our angry and greedy voices. We see it in the aftermath of war and in the devastation of typhoons and earthquakes. Though we are witnesses to the brokenness our sins have unleashed, we have been powerless to stop sinning. In fact, day after day and night after night, we continue to sin, multiplying the chaos that our sins provoke. We are entangled in a darkness that we cannot escape. Where is the hope that will light our way?  Continue reading

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Advent: Intro

Remembering & Anticipating

Stationed at their post on the back of the couch, faces and hands pressed against the frosty window, our kids keep watch for that first glimpse of red brake lights lighting up, while Grandma’s burgundy Honda slows, making the turn into our driveway. Any moment they will abandon their post in a flurry of singular delight: “Grandma is here! Grandma is here!” The ensuing mad scamper of children dashing through living room and dining room, then kitchen and back hall will leave couch cushions crumpled, once neatly folded blankets askew, and our pets in a confused scurry, unsure of whether they should hide under the table, join the joyful delight, or courageously defend our door.  Continue reading

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