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Archive for the ‘advent’ Category

We’re on pilgrimage…

We’re on pilgrimage…

religious journey or expedition

I read Matthew 2:2 from the Message

“We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.”

Simple words yet they echo through the following days…

words to guide

mission to undertake and understand

Those who said these words may have thought that finding the Christ would be the end of the pilgrimage only to discover that it was the beginning..

I would love to know the ongoing pilgrimage of the wisemen who were on a pilgrimage to worship Him.

Finding Jesus was only the beginning of their pilgrimage…

What does my pilgrimage look like?

Have you started looking for Jesus?

Have I found Him?

Is my pilgrimage one of ongoing worship of Jesus?

001-wise-men

 

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The Season of Waiting

Advent

the season of waiting

Maybe we aren’t so different than those who were waiting for the Messiah.

They filled the waiting with

kings,

idols,

parties,

disobedience,

anything to fill the time.

We fill the time with

busyness,

parties,

decorations,

shopping,

filling up the empty spaces,

because . . .

“It is what it is?”

Seek him like the shepherds and the wise men

all year long . . .

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Who do we include?

Christmas time will soon be here!  And WE can hardly wait!

When wandering through the Christmas merchandise aisles the other day, I observed something that had gone unnoticed in the past.  We love royalty or celebrities of the day.  It even shows in the nativity scenes.  Check out your retail stores.  The 3 wise men get starring roles in the nativity scenes that are created and purchased by us.  If you look closely in the stores or even web images, you might notice the following.

  • If the nativity scene includes figures beyond Jesus, Mary and Joseph, there are always more wise men than shepherds even when there are animals included.  There are never more than 2 shepherds unless the wise men are not included.
  • The shepherd is often a lone, young shepherd boy.
  • Often there are only 3 wise men included with no shepherds at all.  Keep in mind that the wise men did not show up to see Jesus until he was living in a house.  Also remember that we conclude that there were 3 wise men, because there is mention of 3 gifts.  No wise men were named or even their number.

We could conclude that “it is what it is”, or we could just honestly acknowledge that wise men are more socially acceptable, more regal in their appearance, and smell better than those shepherds.

The “…or is it?” is the realization that we probably more closely resemble the shepherds than the wise men.  So let’s tell the good news that Jesus is born.  For that is what those shepherds did.  The shepherds told everyone they encountered about the angels announcing the birth of Christ the Lord and seeing the tiny baby all the while praising God.  You see, God included the lowly shepherds – you and me too.

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Waiting

It’s the waiting time of year.

Wait until Thanksgiving is over (maybe).

Wait for Black Friday ;).

Wait for the after Christmas sale.

Wait until you are older.

Wait until your father’s home.

Wait for it to cool.

Wait for it to get warm.

Wait until it’s dark.

Wait until it’s light.

Wait until it’s finished.

Wait until you’re finished.

Wait until he says it first.

Wait and save room for the dessert.

Wait for it.

Wait for Christmas eve.

Wait until Christmas.

Wait for God to come.

Wait for God to speak.

Please wait . . .

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3 Kings Plus One

From Vader/Rouse musical, The First Noel

East Side Church of God presented this musical, The First Noel, last Sunday.  I love the message of this song.  Three kings with three amazing gifts and yet, a tiny baby gives the greatest gift of all to all – HOPE.

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Imagine Christmas

 

It’s not a musical.

It’s a party.

It’s not a spectator event.

It’s a participatory experience.

It’s not just what you see.

It’s what you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell.

It’s not just for our church people.

Everyone is invited to experience Christmas

in Bethlehem and at home.

Come to East Side Church of God

and

bring Bethlehem home.

You might be surprised by Bethlehem’s story.

East Side Church of God

2600 East 5th Street

Anderson, Indiana

 

 

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Advent

Advent means “coming” or “arrival.”  In this Christmas season of Advent we talk about the coming of Jesus Christ the very first time and anticipating the second coming.  Coming infers waiting.

The question for today is:

How do we find a waiting moment during the Christmas season?  How do we create margins in our life to stop and ponder and listen to God speak to us as we wait?

So we find a quiet corner, take a deep breath, close our eyes, and listen,

 

we just might hear God in the waiting and be renewed for the coming.

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