Friday, December 04, 2009

First Sunday in Advent

There are so many new readers of this blog that for the Advent season, I thought I'd post a "rerun." I originally wrote these in 2006, and had almost forgotten about them until I was looking through my files. I'm sorry this "First Sunday" one is a little late, I'll try to post the "Second Sunday" one right away.

First Sunday in Advent:

Father, I lift up my heart to You at the “beginning” of this Christmas season. I say “beginning” as in “Church calendar” and not in terms of the marketplace - for in the marketplace, it has already been “Christmas” for a loooong time now…

Being a child of the 60’s, one of the first things that comes to mind is John Lennon’s song of “So this is Christmas, and what have we here…” and I think, “Yeah, what do we have here…?”

We have lists - shopping lists, grocery lists, “to-do” lists and an already “jam-packed to the gills” calendar filled with even more responsibilities.

As a business owner, I have customers depending on me for things on their shopping lists.

As a wife, and mother, I have family depending on me for - well, for being “Honey” and “Mom” and all that entails at any given point in their lives.

And, as a church-member and Sunday School teacher, I have “every time the doors are open” activities, that I’m expected to attend, lessons to prepare, and devotions to give.

But, as a woman, as Your child, I have… peace… yeah, I really do. As I think about it, and all the things I “have” to do in all the other areas of my life, I’m surprised that the word “peace” is what comes to my mind when I think of what I have as Your child…

This hasn’t always been so. And may not always be so, but at this time, in this place, right now I have peace. And I thank You for that, Father.


The first Sunday in Advent begins with the candle of “hope” and so, Father, I lift up those who feel they have no hope. You’ve created our bodies to survive for weeks without food, days without water, and minutes without air, but we cannot survive for a moment without hope.

How, Father, can we bring hope to a hopeless world? The song says, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name…”

When the word “hope” is used in the Bible it doesn’t mean “wishing” it means “a certainty”. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” - not the essence of things that we wish would happen, but the very things of which we are certain…

And You Father, are the only One that brings that kind of hope.

And may I, as Your child, reflect that hope this Christmas season.


What a “time” of the year, Lord! No other season or “holiday” creates the conflict and convolution that Christmas does. No other date on the calendar produces more good will and more animosity all in one, than does this time of so-called “peace on earth”… Why is that Lord?

What is it about Christmas that makes it the most selfless and yet the most selfish time of the year? What makes it the most joyous and yet the most lonely, the most filling and yet the most emptying, the most loving and yet the most hateful time of the whole calendar year? Why Lord?

Is it… You… Lord? I suspect it is that whole “inner conflict” thing - that whole “good verses evil” thing, that “darkness verses light” war that has been raging ever since the garden -“both” gardens.... (Eden and Gethsemane!)

It’s always there, isn’t it, Lord? It just comes to the surface more when mankind is “forced” to look You right in the eye, as they are “when the baby cries” at Christmastime, and You “demand” that we either react, or respond…

God help us to respond.

In Jesus’ name - Amen.


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