ReThinking Advent – Day 5: Flood

Image

I took this photo on April 8, 2013 – the day after Kevin’s memorial service.  It was early morning and I was driving from Portland, OR to attend church services with his wife, and my dear friend, Stacey.  I had to pull over to take a picture of this rainbow that seemed to end right in McMinnville where they live.  It reminded me of God’s covenant promises to His people.  God unilaterally promised Noah that he would never again use a universal flood to destroy the earth and the rainbow would serve as a reminder of that promise (Gen. 9).  Later, in Isaiah, God promises that this covenant of peace would never be removed (Isaiah 54:9-10).  But, Isaiah also prophesies a new covenant:

“And a Redeemer will come to Zion,

to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the Lord.

“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.” (Isaiah 59:20-21, ESV)

As Christians, we believe that Jesus Christ is the Messenger and Mediator of the new covenant (Hebrews 12:24).  In this season of Advent, as we prepare to celebrate of the arrival of the Christ child, God dwells among us in this new covenant in a way so full of promise that after centuries of celebration, we are still compelled to call it “new”.

Come Lord, Jesus.

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ReThinking Advent, Day 4: Time

I’ve been thinking a lot about the passage of time this year.  When you lose somebody suddenly, who is so young, you can’t help but have regrets.  You look back on missed opportunities to spend time together.  You wonder if you said all the things you should have to make sure that person knew how much you meant to them.  You just wonder.

We’ve also been converting old home movies to digital files and as I’ve watched some of the footage, I wonder if I savored every moment as much as I should have.  I cringed watching one Christmas morning where my 2 year old son was being adorable and I was not really paying attention.

A couple of years ago, I found this little card in a book that belonged to my grandfather.  What an amazing message to hold on to.

papa

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

ReThinking Advent – Day 3: Peace

I’m amending this post because it’s appropriate to do so.  Anything I could say about this man would be a profound understatement.  So, I’ll just say that my prayer is that I could impact ONE other person’s life the way that this man has impacted the world.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Mandela

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,  eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:1-3

ReThinking Advent, Day 2: Bound

Bound is an interesting word.  When I looked it up in the dictionary, I was reminded that it has multiple meanings.  The one that first came to mind for me was the verb which means in bonds or chains; restricted, confined, detained; compelled or obliged to act behave or think in a particular way, as by duty, circumstance, or convention.  Within the context of Advent, I was thinking that before the death and resurrection of Jesus, we were bound by the law. The death and resurrection of Jesus would fulfill the law and ultimately unbind us from our sin. This promise is made way back in Genesis 3:15.

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.

So initially, I thought my picture would reflect some kind of bondage…a chain or rope, perhaps.  But, as I started thinking about the other meanings of the word “bound”, I changed my mind.

Bound (verb):  walk or run with leaping strides.

Bound (noun):  a leaping movement upward.

The same word.  Completely different definition.  You cannot run or leap upward when you are restricted and confined.

As we anticipate the coming of Jesus, let’s remember how He was born into the world to un-bind us.  This should make us bound with joy!

But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Romans 7:6

Advent Photo-a-Day

I haven’t written since my Lenten Photo-a-Day project. Sadly, I didn’t even finish it. I seemed to lose my voice after my friend suddenly passed away in March. There were a couple of times that I tried to write again, but it all seemed so trivial. Nothing seemed worthy of “moving on”, so to speak. Then, I got an email that ReThink Church was having another photo-a-day project and I though that this might be the time. I think Kevin would think so anyway.

The purpose of this project is to enter this season of Advent with intention and awareness — to watch and wait for that wonderful something God is sending our way not just at Christmas, but every single day.

Today’s word is “Go”.

Mt. Adams, Washington State

The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the LORD
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
and many peoples shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
(Isaiah 2:1-3 ESV)

Click here if you are interested in learning more about the Advent Photo-A-Day project.