Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Advent 4

Meditation time:  Think about the following:  "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Really contemplate how Jesus loved.  And while his willingness to die for each of us is certainly the most dramatic expression of love, what I want you to contemplate is how he loved.  Look at his interactions with his disciples, with strangers, with people who looked to him for answers, with people who looked to discredit him.

"Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another."  Can you do that?

"By this everyone will know, that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."  Will someone know you're His disciple?  And if not, how do you intend to change that?

Remember the Presiding Bishop's words:  "We are the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement."  What are you doing to make sure people know that?

Before speaking, think.  Before acting, think.  Before judging, think.  Are you reflecting Jesus' love?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Advent 3

Today's "task" is to climb a mountain.  We're reminded of Isaiah: 2:1-5:

The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

2 In days to come
    the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
    and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
3     Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
    and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
    and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
    and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war any more.
Judgment Pronounced on Arrogance
5 O house of Jacob,
    come, let us walk
    in the light of the Lord!

What mountains do you need to climb?  What ways of the Lord would you like to learn first?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Advent 2

Advent 1

Today's task was to light one candle.  This candle represents hope.  And while the song below by Peter, Paul and Mary is for peace, I think it works for hope as well:

The verse for today:  Matthew 24:42:

 Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Advent 2016

This year, on advice, we are going outside the church to the front lawn during Advent.  Each Saturday (beginning on November 26), we will be holding a brief Advent lighting ceremony at 6:45 p.m.  Please dress warmly, and come hear why the liturgical churches celebrate Advent formally at this time of year.  There is a Compline service that follows - everyone is welcome to attend a very short service before heading out to Christmas parties and events.

The word Advent means “coming.” It is a time to slow down, be quiet and meditate about the real meaning of Christmas. These four weeks before Christmas are a time to prepare our hearts and our lives as we wait for the coming of Jesus. We focus on the promise that God made to his people and how that promise was fulfilled in Jesus. Advent is also the beginning of the liturgical year. The season begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (and we're starting the day at sundown Saturday night) and ends on the day before Christmas. It may be a time for new beginning for us as Christians.

In addition, we'd like to encourage everyone to be consciously *aware* during Advent.  You can watch this blog for things to contemplate each day.  You can take a look at this Advent calendar.  You can make your own traditions and celebrations

Think about what this time of year means.  Slow down from your shopping, and see if you can help others remember what this time is for.  The King is coming...