Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Though Santa showed up in big boxes shortly after the World Series, the, uh, official/liturgical start of Advent was last Sunday.
Nobody asks anymore, but "Advent" comes from the Latin verb advenio ("to come") and refers to the coming of Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
It's Christendom's season of preparation; recalling John the Baptist's exhortation, "Prepare the way of the Lord!"
Advent recalls the coming of God in Jesus as the Babe of Bethlehem, reminds us of God's continuing presence or coming into our lives as Holy Spirit, and looks forward to God's coming again in Jesus to usher in the eternal Kingdom.
The season inspires self-examination and repentance; hence, the liturgical color is purple or violet which is associated with penitence as well as royalty for the coming of our King Jesus.
Isaiah: "The Lord Himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel."
When the baby grew up, He disclosed, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!"
Well, uh, yeah, that's, uh, true to us.
God knows it/us; which is why He gave us the sign!
It had to be something/Someone spectacular/supernatural.
So, uh, yeah, He came in the first advent of Jesus as the Babe of Bethlehem.
Isaiah: "He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Yeah, that's about right.
Jesus had/has perfectly divine wisdom (Wonderful Counselor), wasn't like but is/remains God (Mighty God), has divine authority/ability to save here and now and hereafter (Everlasting Father), and is the way to "strong calm sanity" as well as existential (with people) and eternal (with God) reconciliation (Prince of Peace).
Isaiah: "A shoot will come from the stump of Jesse...the wolf will live with the lamb...a little child will lead them."
Jesus was/is the anointed/appointed One to enable peace among people who move toward each other through Him and guarantee life after life.
Only God can do that!
That's why we call Him Savior and Lord.
One of my favorite Advent traditions is the Advent wreath.
It is round to symbolize God's eternity and often evergreen for His everlasting mercy.
The candles represent Jesus as the Light of the world.
Although practice varies, we normally use three purple candles (symbolizing penitence, royalty, shepherds, angels, and wise men), one rose candle (see Isaiah 35), and one large white candle to proclaim Jesus as the one and only Light of the world.
Advent is all about preparing ourselves to receive Him as personal/corporate...God.
Blessings and Love!
One Man's Ride to Real Faith...
It's raw, rough, real, and maybe even redemptive; and he could lose his day job for writing about it! I Just Wanna Ride is an Ivy League pastor's search for authentic faith on a motorcycle after he couldn't find it after years in academics, pulpits, and pews. From his immersion into biker culture since watching Easy Rider as a teen-ager, the author holds no punches in this provocative, edgy, and risky look at hogs and those who ride 'em as a metaphor and challenge to believers and bikers. Too authentic for "church ladies" and too concerned about "faith" for secularists, this book demands reading by all of 'em if any of 'em care about Who and what matter most sooner or later and definitely in the end.
The official release date is January 1, 2012
The cheap electronic version is now available via www.amazon.com
Watch for the first book-signing at Woodstock Harley-Davidson soon!
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