Archive for December 1st, 2020

The Arrival

Close your eyes, breathe, and clear your mind. Be still. Center your scattered senses on God’s presence.

REFLECTION: Written by Tsh Oxenreider, a contemporary writer.  This is an excerpt from her book “Shadow and Light: A Journey Into Advent.”

Advent means “arrival,” and it speaks of a beginning—the beginning. Advent assumes the arrival of something – or someone. It is more than counting down the days until Christmas with paper cutout doors revealing chocolate, biding time until most children’s favorite day of the year finally dawns. Like someone anticipating the arrival of a dinner guest, we are invited into the rhythm of Advent to prepare. We do more than impatiently drum our fingers on the table until we’re allowed to open gifts under the tree. We prepare ourselves.

Similar to our culture’s view of the first day of January as an invitation to reinvent ourselves, Advent gives us the chance to transform our lives—but in small, much more significant ways than a new workout regimen or a less cluttered closet. We are offered the chance to pause the push of holiday merriment and slowly inch asway from the shadows. This is a small but significant cultural resistance we can practice in our homes, minds, emotions, and relationships. Soon we will mark the arrival of the Christ child. For now, we revel in this invitation. First, we prepare inwardly.

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 147:1, 5-7

Praise the Lord, how good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!

Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.  Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.

Pause and meditate on the Scripture.

PRAYER:  Written by Luci Shaw, a contemporary American writer and poet.

Merciful God, in this Advent season we thank you that you can rewrite the script of our lives, moving us from wandering to arrival, from self-hatred to acceptance, from distance to nearness, from loneliness to belonging, from weakness to energy, and all this because of the enfleshment of your dear Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus, who became one of us and showed us the way. Amen.

Click on the link to see and hear the music video.

MUSIC VIDEO:  All of creation, all of God’s story, all of us, long for Christ’s coming. This video illustrates (through painting and song) how all of history culminates in the birth of Jesus. Skit Guys:  Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.

IMAGE: La Jolla painted by Catherine Montgrain of our church

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