Dec. 2, 2013

Good morning all!

Today’s scripture:
 Psalm 124: A Pilgrim Song of David (From The Message)
If God hadn’t been for us
 —all together now, Israel, sing out!—
If God hadn’t been for us
   when everyone went against us,
We would have been swallowed alive
   by their violent anger,
Swept away by the flood of rage,
  drowned in the torrent;
We would have lost our lives
  in the wild, raging water.
Oh, blessed be God!  
  He didn’t go off and leave us.
He didn’t abandon us defenseless,
helpless as a rabbit in a pack of snarling dogs.
We’ve flown free from their fangs,
  free of their traps, free as a bird.
Their grip is broken;  we’re free as a bird in flight.
God’s strong name is our help,
the same God who made heaven and earth.
We have begun our journey and I have realized that I need to back up just a bit for newcomers to the blog and to Advent.  We need to debrief the process a bit and even talk about what Advent is for a moment before we begin our pilgrimage this year.  The blog is set up this way:
Each morning I get up and go to my computer.  I look up what is called the revised common lectionary passages for the day.  I have been using a UCC site (United Church of Christ).  There are usually three scriptures offered for the day.  A Psalm, an Old Testament and a New Testament passage. For example, today there was a Psalm, a passage from Genesis and a passage from Romans.  On Sundays there are four scriptures offered. However, this year, the CoOp (the church that I get to serve) is using something called Narrative Lectionary which is a bit different (another story for another day).  I read through each scripture and see what calls out to me.  I listen to where God might be talking today.  There is the rare occasion that none of the scriptures speak so there are a few times when I go directly to the Bible and look for another passage that fits where I feel called for the day.
Once I pick a passage (or it has picked me) I read different translations of the passage.  I tend to be drawn to the NRSV the most but I occasionally really love how the Message speaks to us today.  I will let you know which version I give to you. Today we are using the Message.
And then I sit and find where I might be called to write. I will try to give you a sense of the scripture. It may come in the form of exegesis (fancy word for taking apart the scripture). It may look at history or context. It make just make allusions to the scripture and you can meditate more on it.  It may be where I am applying this scripture for the day.  For today this Psalm struck me as appropriate as a call to God to help the pilgrim which I believe we all are on our journey.  God is our help…how appropriate for a season that yearns for God to walk alongside us? I will let you delve more in your time on how you feel about this one…now, why the season of Advent?
I absolutely LOVE the season of Advent because it is a season of great anticipation, yearning for light, and active waiting.  Active waiting? What do you mean?
We are called to wait during this time because God is doing something so spectacular that the world will be completely transformed.  God shows up in flesh at the end of all of this and we will NEVER be the same.  And yes, the season happens every year but it changes the world EVERY YEAR! Isn’t that INCREDIBLE? I get a little excited.  In the meantime, we are called to wait.  But not just sit around waiting. We have to prepare.  We have to get ready to make space.  We have to listen and carefully consider our own journey.  We have to get ready like a pilgrim packs carefully for the long journey.  See what I mean?
So we begin and I hope you will join me in active waiting.  Still need a little recap? Here is a really well done video that only takes about 2 minutes of time. And should explain even more…enjoy!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. mathairfiona says:

    I really enjoyed this post. As I am just returning to the church from MANY years exploring a pagan path, I am having some struggles wrapping my mind around certain aspects of the faith. I am interested in ruminating on “actively waiting” to be forever changed by God in the flesh. I think this idea will play well into my current mental acrobatics over the idea that we should accept Jesus into our lives simply to receive eternal life. That message feels small and self-serving to me, but this post calls us to think about a grander picture.

    1. pastorcourt says:

      Hey there! Thanks for commenting! It is exciting that you are reading right along. Yeah, I don’t think that it is so personal. Jesus calls us to be with the marginalized, the poor, the outcast. The vision that God has for us is so beyond us. It is here and now. It will be good to have more conversation as you explore. 🙂

      1. mathairfiona says:

        I would like that. I’ve been wanting someone with a broad base of knowledge about and faith in Christianity that is closer to my age to have discussions with. The church we attend is mostly middle-aged and elderly folks.

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