Category Archives: Christmas Countdown

Countdown to Christmas 2019….Day 22

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Fourth Sunday of Advent and in that regard I will share four things:

#1

Luke 22 is so rich and full of Jesus final days on earth that my heart is overflowing. We attended St. Paul’s Lutheran service this morning and the message and communion time were beautiful reminders of Christ’s love for us. 

I was struck this morning by three separate references to pray. 

In verse 31 and 32 Jesus declares His awareness that Peter is going to betray Him and assures Peter of constant intercession for him so that his faith will not fail and WHEN he turns back, he will strengthen others who are weak and tempted to quit. 

In verse 43, when Jesus is growing weak an angel strengthens Him and then He prays more fervently for what lies ahead for Him and in verse 44 He urges the sleepy disciples to pray so that they can be strong. 

I pray for healing, I pray for relationships, I pray for wisdom, I pray for discernment. I pray for things to work out and go well for me and for those I love. 

But do I pray to not fall into temptation? Do I pray to be strong? Do I pray for my weary faith to hold on and not fail? Do I pray this fervently for others? 

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#2

Yesterday we got to go feed the reindeer again. 

I think reindeer are the cutest and most charming of animals and I suggested the kids get one for Caroline as a pet. 

Rachel said that was fine as long as it lived at Lola and Papi’s house. 

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#3

I have been eating Christmas cookies for breakfast. 

I am not bothered at all by this. They are made of grain and eggs so I feel I am eating a fairly well balanced diet to get me through. 

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#4

John is home. 

The migration of birds homeward is in motion.

Let the festivities begin. 

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Countdown to Christmas 2019….Day 21

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Our reading today does not match well with the mood of our final days leading up to Christmas Even and Christmas Day. 

There is much description of the persecution and turmoil and natural disasters, the wars and signs of the end times that stand in stark contrast to our brightly lit homes and wrapping paper and counters strewn with pictures of people we love adorning cards with messages of hope and peace and blessing. 

But a quick glance at a news feed reveals the reality of the conflict in nature and in mankind that is growing with an intensity that should wake us up. 

We are not the ones who should be shaking our heads and asking pitifully what the world is coming to. 

We know what it is coming to. 

It is coming the end and then the Beginning.

Jesus says our job is to be alert and praying that we will be found faithful when it all comes crashing down. 

The joy we feel over His birth is magnified because we know His birth signifies the reaching down of God to save us from our sin and from our selves. 

That this life it temporal and yet in it, we are building for eternity with Him. 

His promise is to return and so we wait and as we wait we proclaim His truth. 

What better season to do it than this one right here, right now <3

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Christmas Countdown 2019….Day 20

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This morning as I read through Luke 20, two contrasting views jumped out at me. 

Jesus speaks clearly, openly and with authority. 

His critics speak out of fear of the crowd, with an agenda and in manipulative ways. 

Here is the summary from my viewpoint:

Verses 1-8: Jesus teaches out in full public view about the good news of the Kingdom of God. He answers the questions of the elders in front of everyone. 

The elders on the other hand:

  • discuss His answer among themselves
  • debate what is the most popular and political correct stance to take
  • feign ignorance

Verses 9-19: Jesus tells a parable about the very thing being done against Him in verse 1-8. Again, He speaks openly to the public for all ears to hear. 

Scribes and chief priests begin to plot how they can shut Him down, but do not act because they fear the opinion of the people. 

Verses 20-26: They began trying to catch Him up with His own words, but He realizes their craftiness and doesn’t play into their hands. He continues to answer their questions with wisdom in an open manner.

“They” (same scribes, chief priests and elders) begin covert spying and trickery and even though they are amazed at His answers, they continue to plot yet remain silent out of fear of losing the popular vote. 

Verses 27-39: The Sadducees, who don’t even believe in resurrection quiz Him about resurrection…and He just goes ahead and answers them clearly and truthfully.

They once again commend Him for wise answers, and dare not ask Him any more questions. 

Verses 41-47: He once again declares that He is who He says He is…and He openly warns His followers about the nature and character of the scribes. 

While they are worried about people pleasing and political correctness…He just openly speaks the truth. 

Not with arrogance. 

Not with superiority, but with humility and authority. 

Not to please the crowds, but in obedience to His Father. 

We are His followers. 

He is our example. 

How are we doing with that?

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