Tag Archives: Jesus

Advent Week 4: Peace; Zechariah and Mary Tell It To The World

Peace 1

Reading Luke 1:39 – 80 Magnificat (Luke 1:46 -55)

mary_and_elisabeth

Similar to the prayer of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2:1-10, Mary breaks out in praise towards God and expresses the divinity of her unborn child.

“And Mary Said,

My soul magnifies (to hold in great esteem or to respect) the Lord,

And my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, For he has looked with favour (approval, gracious kindness) on the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed: for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

His Mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped this servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Mary knows she is blessed and her relative Elizabeth has confirmed the annunciation. They are excited because they know things are about to change in the world. The child she is carrying is about to change the world by: bringing down the powerful, lifting up the lowly, filling up the hungry, leaving the rich empty handed. His arrival will be a reminder of the promises God had made to their ancestors.

Zechariah makes known to everyone that things are about to change, not with the birth of his son John, but with the arrival of another child. The arrival of Jesus is the fulfillment of the ancient promises made to their ancestors. It’s a powerful prophecy letting everyone know that the oppression and mistreatment will indeed end.

Zechariah lets his baby boy John know that there are big plans ahead for him. He will be the one to prophecy and prepare the way for the Lord. What will John’s message be: to let people know there is salvation available to all through the forgiveness of sins. According to Zechariah those who are in darkness will now see the light and this light will guide their pathway to peace.

QUESTIONS:

Will you be like Mary and Zechariah and proclaim to the world that there is light in the darkness?

Will you be like Mary and Zechariah and see the arrival of Jesus as a sign that God is faithful with his promises?

Will you be like Mary and Zechariah and see your children as heirs to the message and promises made by God?

Advent Day 10: Love Came Down

Love 2

 

During Advent I like to mix things up. This evening was poetry time. The beauty of this poem is Christina Rossetti’s ability to succinctly describe the divine nature of Christ’s love. Enjoy!

Love Came Down

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine,
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

This poem written by Christina Rossetti and first published in 1885 in the publication Time Flies: A Reading Diary.

Day 4: Jesus our Saviour

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Wednesday Day 4:

“ “Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior . . .”

You know what will make this really good news for you this morning? It will be good news of great joy if you feel like you need a Savior. If you are content without him, if you don’t feel like you need him, then he is not your Savior.

Or if you feel like you need him, but only as a Savior from a bad relationship, or from a financial problem, or from sickness, but not from sin, then he is not your Savior.

The angel said to Joseph in Matthew 1:21, “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” We take him as Savior from sins or we do not take him at all.

But we must be even more careful in the way we say it. For there are many who want Jesus as Savior from the penalty of their sins but not as a Savior from their sins. They want to be saved from the consequences of sin, but not from the corruption of sin. But if you don’t want Jesus to save you from the pleasures of sin, and give you a new and deeper set of pleasures, then you don’t have Jesus as your Savior.

Jesus came into the world to destroy the works of the devil John says (1 John 3:8), namely, sins. If you try to take him only as sin-forgiver and not as sin-destroyer, you don’t take him at all.” Passage from John Piper, Sermon: Three Meditations on the Messiah, December 11, 1988. www. Desiringgod.org

Tzedakah at Advent

Hope 3

Tuesday Day 3:

Deuteronomy 10:17-20

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name.

“One of the most important elements of Jesus’ message, at least in this Jew’s opinion, is the idea that we are our brother’s keeper. We have a responsibility to our fellow human beings. Helping the poor isn’t optional; it’s an obligation. This very Jewish concept, what we call Tzedakah, is now one that is universal to the three great monotheistic religions. Back then, though, it was a very Jewish concept. For example, the Romans considered the idea of the Sabbath laziness because it meant taking off one day per week. Now, this value of Tzedakah, of charity, is universal.” Mets102

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/12/25/931585/-Christmas-From-A-Jewish-Perspective