Lent

Advent Readings: Sunday December 15, 2013

Readings: Isaiah 35:1-10 and Matthew 11:2-11

Reflections:
As you read and reflect on God’s Word, notice what brings you hope, joy, or peace. Be alert to the areas of your life that may seem dark, vague, even doubtful. John the Baptizer is an icon for us of humility, simplicity, clear vision and confidence in the One who comes to us. His is a life of descent rather than ascent. Jesus said the poor in spirit will be blessed and receive the kingdom of heaven (Mt.5:3). Be attentive to how the kingdom of heaven comes to you in places of poverty.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What provisions have you received recently that testify of the goodness of God’s kingdom coming to earth?
  2. How does Jesus’ teaching: the least are greater than John the Baptizer, bring hope to the places of poverty in your own life today?
  3. What places in your life seem confined, hard, doubtful? Talk honestly to God about these things. John the Baptizer sent messengers to Jesus in his confusion. Let the words of our Advent prayer help you vocalize your requests: O Lord Come!

– Elizabeth Khorey and Michelle Sudduth

Advent Readings: Sunday December 8, 2013

Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10 and Matthew 3:1-12

Reflections:
During Advent, the lectionary readings often focus on the nature of God’s kingdom and future events of restoration when Jesus returns to earth. These prophetic readings mingle with others that expressly invite us to respond now with repentance and readiness in light of our future hope of Christ’s Second Advent.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What’s cluttering your path, your heart, your life? Can you identify obstacles that keep you from intimacy with God?
  2. What areas in your life are you working hard to fix the messy parts of your life rather than entering the peace and rest that comes from returning to God who heals and guides?
  3. Where might God be inviting you into repentance, to make paths straight?
  4. Take a few moments to reflect on the depiction of Jesus from Isaiah 11:1-5. How might these words help you to turn to God? Into what areas of your life might you ask: Holy Spirit come… with wisdom, insight and the fear of the Lord?

– Elizabeth Khorey and Michelle Sudduth