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May I share the newsletter article my reading of your blog inspired:

give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been
given you

in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched
in him, in speech and knowledge

of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has been
strengthened among you—

so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you
wait for the revealing

of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ! Corinthians 1: 4-7


- the
three-fold coming (adventus) of Christ — as baby refugee,

as word and sacrament, as
glorious Lamb of God. ~ D. D. Murphy


We have
quite a time with the coming of Christ – we are achievers, reachers, and receivers,
yes, but what we receive must first pass our critical scrutiny! God comes,
nevertheless, whether we see a possibility that is bleak, or hear a word that
would stretch us, or are visited with all power and glory, or not.


At the
outset of a new year the time is now to be honest with ourselves. We have our
most passionate convictions set beside our deepest doubts; and between the one
and the other is our realization of the dark – a silence – this unusual place
between our usual places. Is the coming of God in Christ going to cross the
gaping chasm?


We read
not only the scriptures but the times: The perilous is foreboding – “the powers
in the heavens will be shaken”; our uncertainty aches – “all our righteous
deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf”; and the ominous would
overwhelm us – “you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into
the hand of our iniquity.” (from Mark 13 & Isaiah 64) Are we invited to
rest between apocalyptic fear and nativity joy, untamed salvation and
sentimental piety, our holiest longing and the comfort of worshipping a
crucified God?!


Yet, we
have been, are, and will again make our way to the manger, even if first we
must pass through the wilderness where John the Baptizer is preaching. With
prophet, psalmist, apostle, and evangelist in hand, by the grace of God we will
tell the good news and enact the story for the saving of people, and the
redemption of all creation. Catching fire with Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love, we
burn abundantly, and make light with our lives, health, and place of joy for
God through Christ, who in the Holy Spirit is come, and is coming again!


Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things,
strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15and
regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. 1 Peter 3:14-15a