When you journey through Advent to Christmas, you begin to see Jesus more fully. You recognize that His incarnation was the beginning of the redemption of the world and that His return is the completion of it. Advent pulls those two moments together. It overlays the joy of His arrival as a helpless babe with the hope of His appearing as conquering King. Both arrivals are anticipated in celebrating Advent. (Read more)
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From the Introduction to "Footsteps to Bethlehem," a reflective prayer and worship experience offered by WestGate Church:
It's tempting in our hurried lives to rush from one thing to the next so we don't fall behind. Tonight, we want to encourage you to fight this temptation. God has done some amazing things in people's lives when they create space in their lives and allow themselves to slow down and listen.
As far back as Genesis this journey between God and His creation begins to echo through scripture. Donald Miller writes, 'All this makes me wonder what God must have felt, arriving on the scene just after the Fall, knowing all He made was ruined, and understanding at once the sacrifice that would be required to win the hearts of His children from the grasp of the seducer.'
This time is an invitation to walk with God and experience the reality of His love for you through His son Jesus.
My most poignant moments during the hour and a half that I spent working through the stations of "Footsteps to Bethlehem" was in response to The Magnificant (Luke 1:45-55):
YHWH confounds expectation:
reason and science and will.
Fills emptiness when there seems nothing:
Pours void over self-sufficient
Mammon pangs starving still.
Who is rich?
Who hungers, who knows a warm ready meal;
Come to eat: refraining, stirring,
May you have a blessed and memorable Christmas. And may the anticipation of Jesus's return in remembering his first coming fill you with hope, strength, and peace. Now and forevermore. Amen.