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Advent

Baby Blankets

“And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest,     and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:12-14, ESV) Why this little […]

Advent

The Secret Place

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:6, ESV) Sometimes the exact words of Scripture, the turn of phrase that the writer used, can be startling. I often find some of the most […]

Advent

Sure Rescue

1 As a deer pants for flowing streams,     so pants my soul for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God,     for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food     day and night, while they say to me all the day long,     “Where is your God?” 4 These things […]

Advent

Rejected Stones

1Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;     for his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Let Israel say,     “His steadfast love endures forever. 3 Let the house of Aaron say,     “His steadfast love endures forever.” 4 Let those who fear the Lord say,     “His steadfast love endures forever.” 5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord;     the Lord answered […]

Advent

Prepare His Ways

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; he […]

Advent

The Comfort in Pain

Psalm 41 1 Blessed is the one who considers the poor!     In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; 2 the Lord protects him and keeps him alive;     he is called blessed in the land;     you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. 3 The Lord sustains him on his sickbed;     in his illness you restore him to full […]

Advent

Seeing the Story

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among […]

Advent

Personal Promises

Psalm 40 1 I waited patiently for the Lord;     he inclined to me and heard my cry. 2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,     out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock,     making my steps secure. 3 He put a new song in my mouth,     a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear,     and […]

Advent

Resurrection Hope

Psalm 16 You Will Not Abandon My Soul A Miktam of David. [1] Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. [2] I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” [3] As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. […]

Advent

The No Contest Conflict

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5) The birth stories of Jesus can come off a bit dry. There’s a plainness to the story, a narrative simplicity that can be quite charming…or quite boring. They are not flowery stories. The virgin birth is announced matter-of-factly. No one […]

Advent

Creatures of Praise

Psalm 8  To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of David. I AM! Our Lord! How majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens! Out of the mouth of babies and infants You have established strength because of Your enemies To still the enemy and […]

Advent

Yielded

[39] In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, [40] and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. [41] And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, [42] and she exclaimed with a […]

Advent

Kiss of Peace

Psalm 2 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves The rulers take counsel together Against I Am, Against His Anointed, saying “Let us burst Their bonds apart and Cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs The Lord holds […]

Advent

The Bible Test

[15] “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— [16] just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great […]

Advent

Preparing & Suffering

[13] But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. [14] And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, [15] for he will be great before the Lord. […]

Advent

Judah’s Blessing

[8] “Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you. [9] Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him? […]

Advent

The Outsider

[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. [4] In him was life, and the life was the light […]

Advent

The Tree

[22] Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever— [23] therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work […]