Saturday, November 20, 2010

November 28, 2010

Scriptures for November 28th: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44 Theme: Advent as a time of preparation, awareness and awakening.

Romans: Romans is a book that we all depend upon for faith. It gives us much advice on what it means to keep the faith in tough times. In this paragraph, we are told to put on the armor of light. In those days, you were known for what type of clothes you put on in the morning. If you put on a crown, then you were an athlete, running for the prize. If you were a soldier, then you put on your armor in order to protect yourself. We as Christians are too known for what we put on in the morning. Sometimes we dress lightly, but other times we have to put on the full armor of God. As Christmas comes, we will see the world at its worst – every sin imaginable will be done in the spirit of Christmas – stealing, lying, indulgence, jealousy – you name it. What better time to put on the armor of light – to protect us from temptation, but to show the world what it means to love Christ and to do what is right. Let this be a spiritual time, not a time of physical pleasure.

Matthew : Advent always starts with the end in mind. It could be easy to think that this scripture is talking about rapture. But in this case, you don’t want to be the one taken up. It is like being taken by surprise and being robbed. You want to be the one grounded in the word of God. When you are awake and aware you know what it happening. You want to be ready to see God at any time and in any person, and any situation. Being in the presence of God is the source of our happiness. When things are at the worst; that is just a sign that the joy of the Lord is on its way. This season, let us welcome the joy of the Lord in our lives. Let us be aware, and wait in anticipation of what God will bring. The end,means that there is a new beginning coming soon.

Questions: If our faith is a journey, where are you now? Are you,in the valley, or on the hill? What are some ways to be prepared for Christmas? What are some ways to separate yourself from the world’s celebration? How can we make Christmastime a more spiritual time? What are you doing to ready yourself for the coming of Christ’s kingdom? What are some ways to be aware of God’s presence in your life?

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 21, 2010

Scriptures for November 21st: Jeremiah 23:1-6; Luke 1:68-79; Colossians 1:11-20, Luke 23:33-43 Preparing ourselves for the Second Coming of Christ.

Colossians: Today is Christ the King Sunday; the day that we acknowledge that with all that is going on in our lives, with all of our responsibilities. Christ is still the head of our lives. Colossians speaks of what it means for Christ to be the center of our lives, and tells us why Christ is the center of our lives. This verse is a hymn that would have been sung in the early church, comparing Christ’s rule to the rulers of the time. It is a common image in other religions for the leader to be thought of as the Son of God. Christ being the Son of God means so much more, for us and for him.

Luke: This is the last week that we will deal with Luke as our gospel lesson. What lessons have we learned from Luke? We have learned that God cares about the oppressed, that prayer is important in our spiritual life, and that we have to go the extra mile in how we treat one another to be called Christian. Today we go to the cross with Christ, and relive his crucifixion. He is having a conversation with the criminals next to him to tell them that they will be with him in heaven. The question for us is what does it mean for Jesus to be the King of the Jews? It means that he died in order to save not just the Jews, but those of who have been adopted into the family? His Kingship applies to all people.

Questions: If we were to write a modern day Hymn of Christ, and compare what Christ does to what our politicians do for us, what would it say? Is Christ the center of your life, or are you? How much do you really rely on God in your life? Why do we have to experience the violence of the cross in order to understand real peace? Once that peace comes, how to do keep it present in our lives?