Monday, December 9, 2013

Nally Advent 2013 - Week 2 - Hopeful Abiding

Scriptures: Isaiah 11:1-10, Psalm 72:1-7, Romans 15:4-13, Matthew 3:1-12

All throughout the scriptures, there is a constant rhythm of Christ calling us unto Himself.  This call is a personal invitation for us to abide in Him and with Him.  It can no longer be the faith of our fathers and our grandfathers.  We must choose to abide in the hope and love that He offers for ourselves.  We choose to accept His sacrifice and His saving grace extended to the Gentiles and to all the nations of the world. Christ came as a babe to raise us as spiritual sons of Abraham. The root of Jesse was birthed from the defeated stump to bring life and stand as a beacon to the nations. Let us come once more in to awe and reverence of the Lord Christ's entry in to this world.

With this second candle, we light it in honor of the hope that burns bright in our hearts.  It is filled with visions of peace on earth and the lion and the bear living in harmony with the ox and lamb.  All is brought to complete justice and proper order.  This hope not only burns on this candle, but also in our hearts as we yearn to share this gift and salvation with others. 

Let us be bold in sharing the gift of hope and salvation to all those whom He loves.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Nally Advent 2013 - Week 1 - Expectant Augmentation

Last year we started the tradition of celebrating the advent season in our home with the lighting of an advent wreath.  This year, we desire to grow that tradition and share it with you as we journey through this season of advent.  Each Sunday evening we will post our family's interpretations of our own advent liturgy based upon the Revised Common Lectionary readings for this year.  (A note from Jim: We're choosing to read the RCL in the spirit of dwelling in the same Word as millions of believers all over the world who follow this tradition. We'll all be sharing the same Word and awaiting the same King.) 

We read these words aloud as a family and sang the song below.  Please feel free to join us and share any thoughts you may have as we journey towards the manger together.


Scriptures: Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122, Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24:36-44

The season of Advent is a time of preparation and remembrance. We come together to remember the birth and incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was with God and was God at Creation, His Birth, and His coming again. By remembering His birth and preparing for our celebration of it, we remember more than an event 2000 some years ago. We remember Christ’s coming return as King of a New Creation. The promise was foretold through the prophets before Him and in the songs of praise. We celebrate that the promises have been fulfilled in part through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ, but also that even greater promises are still coming.

After Christ’s resurrection, He left with us His Spirit to light and guide our paths in and beyond our sacred times together. We remember and acknowledge His Spirit’s presence here by the lighting of the first candle. It is the candle of expectation, both of the expectation the ancient Israelites had for their coming messiah and the same expectation we have for His return. The flame reminds us that His Spirit assures us now, as it has through all history in all times and in all places, that we expect the fulfillment of God’s work in our lives and in this world. We eagerly anticipate and prepare for the coming King in our daily lives and the lives of our families. Our faith is not built on a far off dream or idyllic desire, but the expectation that, as God has moved, God is moving, and He will move again.

Let have the faith to expect God to heal, redeem, and restore our broken lives that we may serve and glorify Him forevermore. We know not the day nor the hour, but Christ is coming again!