Advent Meditation Booklet — daily entries posted at Anglican Mainstream

December 2, 2008

There are quite a few Advent resources I’ve been remiss in posting. Today I’m trying to catch up a bit.

On Sunday (Nov 30th), Anglican Mainstream posted news of an Advent Meditation Booklet from the Church of the Resurrection in Tampa Florida.

We enclose an Advent Meditation Booklet from the Church of the Resurrection in Florida. The meditations for this week are published here. We will post each day’s meditation each day.

Church of the Resurrection
12720 N. Florida Ave
Tampa, FL 33612

Dear Friends In Christ:

For the last few years we as a parish have published an Advent Meditation Booklet or an Activity Calendar for each day of the weeks of Advent. Again this year we have combined Scripture and Meditation with an Activity that can be done by people of All ages. The lessons are taken from the Daily Lectionary from the Anglican, Roman and Lectionaries along with the Common Lectionary to offer a full flavor of the Advent Scriptures

Typically this will goes out via e-mail each week on Saturday Evening and we hope you will share it as this has become something that is used not just in our parish but by many friends around the world.

May your advent Journey be one where you discover anew God the Father, who is the source of all life, all truth, all hope and all beauty. May it be a time where the Christ, finds a home anew in your hearts and homes and may the Spirit, who gives new life supports us in this journey day by day.

Father Kevin
Advent 2008

The first week’s meditations are posted at Anglican Mainstream, and they are also posting each day’s meditation separately.

Day 3’s meditation is here, and I’m copying it below just so readers can have an idea what this resource is like.

Tues Dec 2

Is 11:1-10 1     Thes 2:1-12      Luke 20:9-18

TUESDAY of Advent I – The image from Isaiah is powerful again as we are reminded that the shoot out of Jesse’s root becomes a branch that then is infused by the spirit of the Lord: wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and fear. Who of us do not need such gifts? This Advent we are reminded that the Jesse Tree has roots which calls us to a kingdom life where there is peace, and children can play in the presence of serpents without harm!

PRAYER: Father, slow me down so I won’t miss what’s important.

ACTIVITY – Let family members or friends know—in person, by phone, by note—how much you care about them.

I’d love to hear about other Advent devotional booklets published by churches… send an e-mail or post a comment!

Common Cause Partners

December 2, 2008

The unveiling of the new CCP constitution is this Wednesday, Dec. 3 in Chicago. The Anglican Primates Council will then meet the next day, on Thursday, Dec. 4, in London, England, to receive the new constitution. On Friday, Dec. 5, the Anglican Primates Council are scheduled to meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, in Canterbury, England.
I am not a member of the CCP; for whatever reason, God has not released me from TEC. But I have long admired the bold witness to the historic faith made by CCP leaders. I shall miss this witness within TEC, although they still have ties within the AC. I shall miss them, but I don’t harbor any animosity for their decision.
I feel much like I am standing on the dock, watching friends board a ship to embark on a journey. This is a sailing ship, and the crew is hoisting some of the smaller sails, to catch the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit as they pull out of the harbor, keeping the larger sails folded till open water.
I love the names of ships–Endurance, Enterprise, Flying Cloud, Golden Hind, Intrepid, Constitution, Invincible, Walk-in-the-Water. What would I name this ship? So many possibilities! Faith, Hope, and Love. The Way, the Truth, and the Life. Expectations. Servant in HMS (His Majesty’s Service). LOL!
What are my hopes and prayers for these dear friends, most of whom I’ve never met?
–I hope and pray that, in this new vessel, the way they love and express God’s love will follow the pattern of Christ’s love.
–I hope and pray that their emotions, kicked around like smoldering embers by past trials, will be gathered together in Christ and yielded to the gentle breath of the Holy Spirit to bring forth the fire of God.
–I hope and pray that, as they encounter new ways of ordering their walk, their finances, their vision, their relationships, they will yield themselves to God’s fire to burn away the dross.
–I hope and pray that they use the Sword of the Spirit to cut any rope that would anchor them in ungodly thought systems and emotions–especially regret. None of us have been perfect through this crisis, but they have surely have held the banner of Christ high.
–I hope and pray that they boldly raise their sails to catch God’s Spirit, open to His guidance, going to places they never dreamt of, and receiving gifts unexpected.

May Christ be their new vessel, Christ be their new boundaries, and Christ be their new port. Christ! Christ! Christ!

I salute them. Godspeed.

Jill Woodliff

Advent devotionals at Transfigurations

December 2, 2008

As regular readers here will know, one of the blogs I love for its devotionals is Pat Dague’s Transfigurations.

Most of Pat’s entries are news stories.  But every day, or almost every day, she will post an illustrated devotional.  Typically during Advent, her devotionals focus on Advent themes and they make a great resource.  You will see some of Pat’s previous devotionals showing up here in our entries.  Unfortunately, Pat’s blogging software doesn’t allow her to set up categories.  So, this year, I’ve decided to start a compilation of all Pat’s Advent devotional entries.  They’re just too good a resource to miss.

Nov 30th:  Blest be the King Whose Coming is in the Name of God
Dec 1st:  He Comes to Us
Dec 2nd: The Season of Advent

I’ll try to update this regularly.  Thanks Pat for the wonderful gems you dig up!

Advent Favorites — Bonhoeffer: The Coming of Jesus into Our Midst

December 2, 2008

Originally posted: Thursday, December 1, 2005

Thanks to one of the very good friends of this blog, the Pietist, (a Lutheran pastor who prays faithfully for all of us in ECUSA!) for posting this wonderful piece by Bonhoeffer on Advent!

The Coming of Jesus into Our Midst
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20

When early Christianity spoke of the return of the Lord Jesus, they thought of a great day of judgment. Even though this thought may appear to us to be so unlike Christmas, it is original Christianity and to be taken extremely seriously. When we hear Jesus knocking, our conscience first of all pricks us: Are we rightly prepared? Is our heart capable of becoming God’s dwelling place? Thus Advent becomes a time of self-examination. “Put the desires of your heart in order, O human beings!” (Valentin Thilo), as the old song sings.

“Our whole life is an Advent, a time of waiting for the ultimate, for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth, when all people will be brothers and sisters.”

It is very remarkable that we face the thought that God is coming so calmly, whereas previously peoples trembled at the day of God, whereas the world fell into trembling when Jesus Christ walked over the earth. That is why we find it so strange when we see the marks of God in the world so often together with the marks of human suffering, with the marks of the cross on Golgotha.

We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us. The coming of God is truly not only glad tidings, but first of all frightening news for everyone who has a conscience.

Only when we have felt the terror of the matter, can we recognize the incomparable kindness. God comes into the very midst of evil and of death, and judges the evil in us and in the world. And by judging us, God cleanses and sanctifies us, comes to us with grace and love. God makes us happy as only children can be happy.

God wants to always be with us, wherever we may be – in our sin, in our suffering and death. We are no longer alone; God is with us. We are no longer homeless; a bit of the eternal home itself has moved unto us. Therefore we adults can rejoice deeply within our hearts under the Christmas tree, perhaps much more than the children are able. We know that God’s goodness will once again draw near. We think of all of God’s goodness that came our way last year and sense something of this marvelous home. Jesus comes in judgment and grace: “Behold I stand at the door! Open wide the gates!” (Ps. 24:7)

Read the full text!

I found this brief reflection very challenging because I recognized myself in what Bonhoeffer wrote. I’ve been finding it hard this week to read the sobering passages from Amos and Matthew. How quickly we (or at least I!) want to push away the hard words of coming judgment and jump right to the comfortable news of “glad tidings of great joy” — yes we love the cuddly Baby in the manger, and we even love the battered and abused Christ on the Cross because of all that His death secured for us in terms of cleansing, redemption, salvation… but Jesus the Coming King, the Judge of all the Earth, He who will separate the sheep from the goats… we find much harder to embrace. Do we believe that God’s judgment is good news? Do we believe that God’s judgment is just? I need to continually examine my heart in these matters and let the reminder of coming judgment stir me to greater holiness and devotion, but also to more zealous evangelism and witness of the salvation that is found in Christ.

Psalm 6:1-4

December 2, 2008

O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger, nor chasten me in your hot displeasure. (Psalm 6:1)
      O LORD, do not rebuke us in your anger, nor chasten us in your hot displeasure.

Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled. (Psalm 6:2)
      Have mercy on us, O LORD, for we are weak; O LORD, heal us, for our bones are troubled.

My soul also is greatly troubled; but you, O LORD–how long? (Psalm 6:3)
      Our souls also are greatly troubled; but you, O LORD–how long?

Return, O LORD, deliver me! Oh, save me for your mercies’ sake! (Psalm 6:4)
      Return, O LORD, deliver us! Oh, save us for your mercies’ sake!

A word received: Pray for my rebellious people — pray they will return to me.

Tuesday: 5, 6; Isaiah 1:21-31; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Luke 20:9-18
Wednesday: 119:1-24; Isaiah 2:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 2:13-20; Luke 20:19-26

Albany Intercessor

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