Advent 1, Isaiah 64:1-9

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Advent 1, Isaiah 64:1-9

Post by Pastor » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:41 pm ... ersion=ESV
We are entering the four week season of Advent. This is a preparatory period that readies us for the coming of the Christ child at Christmas.
How does the world around us prepare itself for Christmas? Do you think it places enough attention on the spiritual significance of the season? I suspect not. Does that upset you? What would you like to see happen to fix this? Do you find yourself echoing Isaiah and calling on God to "rend the heavens and git on down here?"

Notice that Isaiah includes you in the problem that is present in our world. He is right, I find myself so distracted. Does that change the way you would like God to come? I suspect it does. We tend to call for a big hammer when dealing with other peoples' problems and something very different for our own issues.

We have made the journey to Bethlehem before. How did God come? Why did He come this way?

When I focus on the lack of preparation in others I neglect the need in myself. How can you prepare for God's coming?

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Re: Advent 1, Isaiah 64:1-9

Post by awkratzke » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:38 pm

To the secular world and perhaps to some in the Christian world Advent may mean no more than a time to get the Christmas lights up and the cookies baked.
I was brought up in a parsonage and was married to a church musician for sixty-eight years so I am aware of the traditions and calendar of the church. While it is true that December is a time for preparation for the culmination of all the activity on Christmas, the season of Advent has a life and purpose of its own.
First, note that the season is a penitential season. The designated parament color for both Lent and Advent is purple. But who is to say that there can be no joy in penance or penitential feelings in celebration. The mid-week services offer the congregant opportunity to combine all aspects of the season.
Also, the Christian Church incorporated in its Vespers liturgy the “O” Magnificat antiphons for the last seven days before Christmas. Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture.
December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
December 18: O Adonai (O Lord)
December 19: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
December 21: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations)
December 23: O Emmanuel (O With Us is God)
The hymn O come, O come, Emmanuel (in Latin, Veni Emmanuel) is a paraphrase of these antiphons. The antiphons were once used as the theme for the Christmas Eve service at Christ the King.
For me, Advent evokes a myriad of feelings. Sunday we light the first candle so the season has begun. But we also have to get the lights up and the cookies baked.

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Re: Advent 1, Isaiah 64:1-9

Post by OAKPROA » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:23 am

When I consider the Holy Spirits blessing upon prophets in the Old Testament (i.e. Isaiah today), I realize that God has chosen “them” to represent true wisdom and truth from God’s perspective. They were men raised up by God in a decadent day when both priest and king were no longer worthy channels through whom the expressions of God might flow.
These men not only spoke of events in the far-off future but also spoke of local events in the immediate future. We are now in the same situation today facing a myriad of roadblocks attempting to undermine God’s wisdom with human endeavors and concerns brought to us today as mentioned by Pastor Mau above.
The focus of children today in the world this time of year is mainly upon gifts, cookies, decorations and Santa.
The birth of Jesus draws their attention (especially when they are chosen for “parts” in the manger production) with which they relate to due to their age and babies around many of them. They completely miss the fact that gold, frankincense, and myrrh represent preciousness along with embalming spices used in burials which has futuristic significance pointing to our Saviors redemptive death which grants mercy to ALL accepting Christ as their personal savior.
St. Paul refers to the growth from baby food to adult solid food (1 Corinthians 3:2-3)
[2] I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready for it; and even yet you are not ready,
[3] for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men?
So to answer Pastor Mau’s request (“ How can you prepare for God's coming?”), I would answer: Continue to listen to God’s precious written WORD and stay focused on HIS TRUE WISDOM (Christ is wisdom personified) while reflecting HIS desired manner of living to those all around us, in addition to spreading and sharing the GOSPEL of Good News as Christ commanded.

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