Sunday, December 09, 2007
Be prepared. Be Expectant. Be Pregnant with Hope.
This is the second Sunday in Advent. Today we focus on what the
Bethlehem Candle Urges us to do. It is urging me to prepare. I understand that message. As Christmas approaches, my schedule fills with many preparations I need to do. I ask myself, "Will I be ready?" But I am preparing for more than Christmas alone, aren't I, O Lord? The twice-as-bright Advent wreath awakens my attention to the truth: I am preparing for the coming of the LORD ! As surely as you came to Bethlehem, you are coming again, The flames have doubled to open my eyes. For this and all your many graces I thank and praise you, Lord my God. Amen
I have to admit I am done with all the usual preparations for Christmas. The tree is done, the house is decorated, the cards and gifts are mailed. There are a few gifts under the tree. Baking is done. All is ready for the coming of the Lord. But is it really?
Is my heart prepared the way it should be? Will I be focusing on the real reason we celebrate Christmas? Am I joyful and expectant, pregnant with Hope? Yes, I believe I am. Why"
Because while standing in the back of the church this morning waiting for the choir to prepare to process down the isle, I had a wonderful rush of excitement as the organist played her prelude, "Joy To The World," I felt goosebumps up and down my arms, and my eyes filled with tears. Not of sadness, but JOY. Yes, I am filled with Hope.
Dear God, As I listen to the message and obey your urging to Prepare the way for the Lord, please keep me focused on that Bethlehem Candle...on the preparation. Help me to keep Hope in my heart no matter what happens here on earth. I have to keep looking toward the sky and the wonderful Star of Bethlehem to shine in the East. Thank You God, for your wonderful gift of Love.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Prepare Ye The Way.....
Once again the Prophecy Candle urges me to listen.
I hear one more prophetic voice,O Lord. He is the final messenger sent to "bear witness to the Light". He is John the Baptizer. He is the messenger come to prepare the way--the voice of the one crying in the wilderness. He speaks no message of his own, but directs our ears to your Message--your Word--"the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World. " I am listening carefully. I am listening faithfully, too.
For this and all your many graces I thank and praise you, O Lord, my God. Amen
I have sung Prepare Ye The Way from Handel's Messiah many times, and have always loved that message. Here it is from the Life Recovery Bible. Luke 3: 4-6
He is a voice shouting in the wilderness: " Prepare a pathway for the Lord's coming ! Make a straight road for him. Fill in the valleys and level the mountains and hills ! Straighten the curves,
and smooth out the rough places ! And then all the people will see the salvation sent from God".
What this means to me is that life's road can be very treacherous, tiring, and drying as a trek through the wilderness. I like to think of God's bulldozer preparing for the world' Savior, My Savior. All I needed to do, and have done, is make a public confession of faith. This way I have taken responsibility for my actions, turned my life over to God, as I understand Him, and then I will and am experiencing God's power to "smooth out" my life.
Dear God, Here I am again coming to thank you for your love, power and strength in my life. Only you can make my paths smooth and straighten out the curve balls that life throws my way from time to time. Thank you for sending John as the final messenger to bear witness to the Light, Your Son, who is our Son.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wonderful Counselor ! Prince of Peace ! Everlasting Father !
Once again the Prophecy Candle urges me to Hear, Listen and Wait.
So many images, deeply embedded in the preaching of your Old Testament prophets, O Lord. Help me to understand the ONE whom I await. "The Good Shepard." "The Lamb." "The Branch of Jesse."
"God With-Us." They help me understand what he will accomplish as well. As I consider the approaching "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" this day, open my eyes to see you, and my ears to hear all that you are telling me.
For this and all your many graces I thank and praise you, Lord, my God.
Dear Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, I am asking you today to be with me and to comfort me as I await my doctor's appointment on Tuesday, Dec. 11 to see what is going on. You already know what the outcome will be, and I place my trust and my life in your hands., as always, Lord. Help me to focus on the celebration of your birth and not on what my problem may be. Help me to open my ears to hear you and my eyes to see you instead.
Friday, December 07, 2007
This entry was made a day late, so it is really for Thursday, December 6.
Thy Word Is A Lamp Unto My Feet...A praise song.
On this Thursday of the first week in Advent, The Prophecy Candle urges me to listen. and to be watchful.
Your Word is rich, O Lord! Like a pebble dropped into a pond, a pebble causing widening circles! That' what physicists say light is like, too. The sun's light that kisses my cheek today is racing onward to untold worlds tomorrow. YOUR WORD is expanding!
It is becoming, not just FILLED, but FULL-filled (brought to completion) in Christ at his birth. As your WORD grows, more of your message comes to light. Eventually it reached out to even me !
For this and all your many graces I thank you and I praise you, Lord my God. Amen
What an amazing thought to know that God created light, and that He is sending His SON to be our SUN. He is the light of the world. So many times He has pulled me from the darkness because of His light shining on the path back to Him. Sometimes it's difficult to make the correct decision when I come to the fork in the world. Today His light is shining inside of me so that I can make healthy food choices and to keep this Temple (my body) as healthy as possible.
O God, How can I ever thank you for sending your Son to be my Sun in a sometimes dark place here on earth in my life? His light is a ray of Hope. Let His light shine continually in all of our lives, including mine.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
"Go tell it on the Mountain" A Christmas Anthem
Once again The Prophecy Candle urges me to Listen. What a story I am listening to, O Lord, as I approach the wreath....as I approach Christmas...as I approach the manger and the Baby waiting for me there! What a story! Its age...it's characters...it's familiarity...they all impress and astound. The years have not dimmed the glory. On the contrary, the passing of time seems to make the story shine ever more brightly. It is certainly worth hearing...worth remembering..worth sharing.
For this and all your many graces I thank and praise You, Lord my God. Amen
Christmas is a time of sharing. It is a wondrous time of unconditional love. It is a time of love and adoration. It can also be a time of sadness and uncertainty. When I become uncertain, I want to remember God's greatest gift of all to mankind..His Son. He is the Light of the world. He is the light that will dispel the darkness and uncertainty.
I am so grateful for you and for you Love that came down at Christmas. May I be always mindful of your love, and the reason we celebrate Christmas, and not let me get all caught up in the tinsel and artificial lights to the point of forgetting You. Let me be filled with confidence to tell your wonderous story. May I "Go Tell It on The Mountain, over the hill and everywhere that Jesus Christ Is Born.
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