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Thankful Joy! Advent Devotional #1


Devotion for the First Sunday of Advent

Photo by Ava Tyler on Unsplash

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only…Therefore
be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. -Matthew 24:3, 44

As is a long-time tradition, the first Sunday of Advent points us to the Second Coming of Christ.

It presupposes that we understand a basic truth. He came once to show us the Father, announce the Kingdom, make the way of salvation, and commission his servants to spread the good news of God’s ultimate triumph.

He would come again to usher in that Kingdom in power and glory once and for all.

That is why we sing a Second Coming hymn in anticipate of Christmas.

Joy to the world,
The Lord has come.
Let earth receive her King.
Let every heart prepare him room
And Heaven and nature sing.
He rules the world
With truth and grace
And makes the nations proves
The glories of his righteousness
And wonders of his love.
-Isaac Watts

When know, roughly, when he came the first time.

We have no idea when he will come again.

What we know is that it is always just around the corner and Advent reminds us to always be standing on tiptoes, ready, joyfully expectant, diligently faithful, and always full of wonder like a child at Christmas.

That is because the very best Christmas is yet to come.

And for that, we can be thankful in advance.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ.
While fields and floods,
Rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy.



Wake Up



First Sunday of Advent: Living in Expectation

 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:36

We knew she was coming sometime, just not when. We knew that every day brought the visit closer, but we were not certain exactly what day. We cleaned the house once, twice, and then again. Finally, we just got in the habit of keeping it clean. We’d stare out the window and watch, waiting for our great aunt to arrive with gifts and hugs. We were children. Our parents understood the calendar better than we could. We only knew seasons and it was the right season for a visit.

Don’t be dismayed that God keeps some things secret. He knows better than to entrust us with every detail of His plans. There are some things we simply could not understand if we were told in plain language. He tells us what is necessary and withholds what would breed complacency and contempt for His ways. Not knowing the details of His second coming means that we can live in constant expectancy of His appearing. We wait of tiptoe. We lift our hearts in wonder. Waiting for His redemption gives us a clue as to the spirit of messianic expectation that must of gripped the hearts of the faithful who waited patiently for His first coming.

Shepherds and wise men all eagerly sought word of salvation. While others despaired and resigned themselves to business as usual, there were always those who kept hope alive in their hearts. Our job in our generation is to eagerly seek Him in everything.

Jesus has come and Jesus is coming. Both statements stir the heart and ignite the imagination. Hope, born in the hearts of children, inspires hope in those who are tired of waiting. The call comes rolling down through the centuries. Live in constant expectation and you will never  be disappointed


The first video below has some sound issues. I am still learning.




Your God Is Too Small - Advent Gospels - Day 9

Advent gospel reADINGS

He is the God of the Living!

Stupid Questions

SolLunaCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Matthew 22:23-33

Be Astonished!

The same day some Sadducees came to him, saying there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, "Teacher, Moses said, 'If a man dies childless, his brother shall marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother.' Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married, and died childless, leaving the widow to his brother. The second did the same, so also the third, down to the seventh. Last of all, the woman herself died. In the resurrection, then, whose wife of the seven will she be? For all of them had married her."

Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is God not of the dead, but of the living."

And when the crowd heard it, they were astounded at his teaching.

I have heard it said and I have said it, "The only stupid question is the one you do not ask."

I need to revise that.

The only stupid question is the sincere, honest, and relevant question that you do not ask.

There really are stupid questions in this world. Here is proof. It is a convoluted, irrelevant, distracting, and argumentative question about a realm which we can barely conceive of and a reality that is beyond our understanding and our rules of operation. It does not even comply with the laws of nature.

In narrowing Heaven and the Resurrection to their definitions of reality and relationships, Jesus shows that they were also limiting the potential of temporal and eternal life in the present.

They were defining truth and meaning by their disputations on the law when the Torah was silent on the matter they were raising. They were wrong about God because they were ignorant of the scriptures and their meaning. Worse than that, they were wrong because they failed to know the power of God.

Their God was too small.

They were wrong about the resurrection because they failed to comprehend the meaning of real life itself. Human relationships on this planet in time and space are indicators of something deeper in the eternal realm where God is the God of the living.

Jesus confronts the stupidity of the question and calls the questions out of the stupor, the haze they renders us stupid in our disorientation. He offers an alternative way of thinking that is life-orientated rather than death-obsessed,

Jesus comes in the Advent season in history and year after year to announce life. Eternity invades time to lift mankind to an eternal persopective that changes how we think and live in the here and now.

God is the God of the living. Be astonished.