Advent Daily Devotion

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Advent Daily Devotion Dec 18

December 18

A Word of Encouragement for the Faithful ~ By Ginger Ward

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. - Isaiah 2: 4

Advent is traditionally a time of preparation, of watchful waiting, of hopeful anticipation.  Yet, this year, as we prepare for Christmas, waiting for the birth of the Prince of Peace, we are surrounded daily by acts of violence and injustice.  Each day seems to bring new terrors for which we are unprepared and by which we are profoundly disturbed, outraged and frightened.  Confronting this, Isaiah has a word of encouragement for the faithful.  Isaiah consoles us and challenges us by telling us the Lord is in control and the Lord is in control and the Lord will show us the way to leave behind our swords and spears and progress instead to tools far more beneficial to humanity:  shovels and rakes.  The challenge for us it seems to me is to trust God at all times, even, especially, in times such as these "to settle arguments between nations".  Ours is the responsibility to "obey Him" and act accordingly.  For me, this means first making peace in my own small world-speaking softly, acting justly, healing relationship wounds, apologizing and laying down my own "weapons".  There is more to our challenge:  We are "to live by the light of the Lord" (verse 5) which for me means speaking up when we see injustice, abuse, pollution of Gods' creation, violence, etc..  It is a heavy burden, isn't it?  Yet we have God's word that we should "Fear not!", for God is with us and the Prince of Peace is coming!

 

Advent Daily Devotion Dec 15

December 15

Advent Memories ~ Submitted by Ellen Adams

Each year, as the Advent season approaches, memories of our first Christmas in Karachi, Pakistan come flooding in, a land halfway around the world from us and the flip side of life as we knew it.

"What is he that is born king of the Jews?  For we have seen his start in the east and have come to worship him." - Matthew 2: 1-2

It was Christmas.  We were in the East and we found Him in the loving hands of our Christian servants, who decorated our house inside and out with orange and purple stars and streamers, brought a potted palm inside for Ellen to decorate, fashioned leis of orange marigolds for each of us.  We found Him in the little Methodist Mission church as we sang the familiar carols.  We found Him in the tremendous witness of our outdoor, live Christmas pageant of the nativity as the American school, in which every student, K-12, took part.  The extras were villagers and angels, with live camels, sheep, goats, and donkeys - sounds and smells did not need to be emulated.  The flat-roofed school was the inn; the dusty street the stage; the audience truly international.  As dusk fell, came the muezzin's evening call to prayer - God's ways are mysterious.

Looking up into a starlit sky, I thanked and praised God for his wonderful world and that no matter where one stands, God is there in our midst, when we seek Him.

In Christ, there is no East or West, in Him, so South or North.  But one great fellowship of love, throughout the whole, wide earth.

Wise men still seek Him.

 

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