Advent 1

December 3, 2012 § 2 Comments

Last year I shared advent thoughts with you, and it was such a blessing for me to do it – to take the time to reflect on these things and communicate them here – that I’m going to try again, though I am starting one day behind. (As is somewhat typical for me; apologies, friends.)

Yesterday I had the great delight of making beeswax candles with a new local friend and an old childhood friend in a warm kitchen with plenty of chocolate and caramel corn. I still have a few more candles and a wreath to put together, which will be on the task list for this week (along with planning a writers’ workshop, cutting down a Christmas tree, and hosting a holiday party – it’s going to be a fun week!). But in all the busyness of parties and decorations, of hopes for snow, of looming transitions, the center must remain the center, and for me, that is Christ.

Here are advent thoughts for the first Sunday:

Expectation, hope, and prophecy: the first candle.

Isaiah 9:

Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

This is a prophecy that opens the doors for hope. We can expect (with confidence) light, and joy, and righteousness, and peace. How good to know that the best of all governments will come to be; that it is promised to us; that it is in the process of being fulfilled; that it is our inheritance.

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