ADVENT: Ready to See

Our Advent readings seem like they could have come from our current news feeds. Present life raises a cry for broken humanity to be healed. In our global and local anguish, we long to see the tender words of Advent—hope, peace, joy and love—made manifest. We are ready to receive revelation, to see justice come that raises up low places and levels arrogant high places. Advent assures us that God works beyond the place I’m standing today. Comfort, O Comfort my people! These are words for threshold moments, for instances in which we long to move through the current places and events of our lives and to be carried along by both God’s reality present to us now, and his promise to come again. We long to live in a secure kingdom. We search for a word that will last forever. This word, is of course, Jesus Christ. He is the brightest of all possible dawns. “Yes! Come Lord Jesus! This Advent we open ourselves to see you.”

Lent Reading: Sunday, March 9

Reading: Matthew 4:1-10

Reflection Questions:

  1. As you sit with the passage of Scripture, what do you notice about Jesus’ relationship with the Holy Spirit? How does the knowledge of this relationship effect your perspective of Christ’s experience in solitude as he faces the tempter of souls and confronts the common temptations of humanity? Does this perspective give you courage in your own wilderness-like journey or confronting temptations? Why or why not?
  2. As you read through each invitation of the tempter to Christ, what might be at the root of each temptation? What kinds of invitations tempt you away from God? Think of places, things, people, influences or personal dispositions and attitudes where you are most tempted (places of vulnerability, defensiveness, desires for control, power, or esteem). What’s at the root of these for you?
  3. Discuss these things with God in prayer – openly, honestly. Listen for the word of God to you.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability,
but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape,
that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

– Elizabeth Khorey

Epiphany Readings: Sunday, March 2

Readings:  Psalm 119:97-104 and Matthew 7: 24-29

  1. As you begin your meditations on God’s word, sit with the words of the psalmist in Ps.119:97-104. Are any of the psalmist’s sentiments true of you? Why or why not? Talk to God about how you experience his word in your actual life.
  1. Turning to Matthew’s gospel and the final words of Jesus in his teaching on the mount, read the passage a few times through. In honesty, consider what he says about the wisdom of obedience to his word. To what degree do you hear his word and do it? Where in your heart and life do you sense a chasm between hearing and doing?
  1. As you consider the picture Jesus paints of a life built with God and on his word versus one that is not, consider how you are building your life and what it is built on.  To what degree have you experienced ruinous effects of a life without God or choices made apart from God in disobedience to his word? If God was sitting with you at this moment, what would you ask him, what would you say to him?  What would you want him to do for you? Talk to God in prayer.
  1.  As you continue to consider your life, past and present, how do you experience the sturdy dependability of God and his word as a foundation that holds firm in times of storm? Respond in gratitude. Ask for the grace-filled capacity to wisely build your life in God by the integration of hearing and doing his word.

– Elizabeth Khorey