May I share the newsletter article my reading of your blog inspired:
“Igive thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has beengiven you
in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enrichedin him, in speech and knowledge
of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has beenstrengthened among you—
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as youwait for the revealing
of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ! Corinthians 1: 4-7
Advent- thethree-fold coming (adventus) of Christ — as baby refugee,
as word and sacrament, asglorious Lamb of God. ~ D. D. Murphy
We havequite 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 thatwould stretch us, or are visited with all power and glory, or not.
At theoutset of a new year the time is now to be honest with ourselves. We have ourmost passionate convictions set beside our deepest doubts; and between the oneand the other is our realization of the dark – a silence – this unusual placebetween our usual places. Is the coming of God in Christ going to cross thegaping chasm?
We readnot only the scriptures but the times: The perilous is foreboding – “the powersin the heavens will be shaken”; our uncertainty aches – “all our righteousdeeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf”; and the ominous wouldoverwhelm us – “you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us intothe hand of our iniquity.” (from Mark 13 & Isaiah 64) Are we invited torest between apocalyptic fear and nativity joy, untamed salvation andsentimental piety, our holiest longing and the comfort of worshipping acrucified God?!
Yet, wehave been, are, and will again make our way to the manger, even if first wemust pass through the wilderness where John the Baptizer is preaching. Withprophet, psalmist, apostle, and evangelist in hand, by the grace of God we willtell the good news and enact the story for the saving of people, and theredemption of all creation. Catching fire with Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love, weburn abundantly, and make light with our lives, health, and place of joy forGod 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; 15andregard the patience of our Lord as salvation. 1 Peter 3:14-15a
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