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Prepare the Way: Advent Day 15

by Jeff Mortimer

Isaiah 40:1-5 “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord.”  How exactly does one prepare the way of the Lord?  At first glance, it appears to involve heavy machinery and a lot of earth moving expertise.  But when we look at how John the Baptist actually prepared the way, he “proclaimed a baptism of […]

The Magnificat: Advent Day 13

by Pastor Rob Smith

Luke 1: 39-56 Today’s reading is known as the Magnificat, or Mary’s Song.  This is a song of praise and a song of hope.  What does hope look like?  What does it look like for Mary? As her song concludes: “He has shown strength with his arm;     he has scattered the proud in the thoughts […]

If You Need a Job Done Right: Advent Day 12

by Pastor Rob Smith

Luke 1: 26-38 You can’t make this stuff up.  Ask yourself, “If I were to write the story?”  God could have entered however God wants.  I would picture nothing less than Zeus with lightning bolts, bulging muscles, the finest castle, and a jewel studded throne.  Having a soon to be teenager, I would enter as […]

Do Not Be Afraid: Advent Day 11

by Pastor Rob Smith

Luke 1: 5-25 “Do not be afraid, for your prayer has been heard.”  May we not only wear this on our t-shirts, our bumpers, our foreheads, but may we internalize this message.  By internalizing, may we be transformed and radiate in a world that so greatly needs to hear, “Do not be afraid.” One of […]

Come to the Light: Advent Day 10

by Pastor Rob Smith

Isaiah 60: 1-5 Today’s text contrasts darkness and light.  This is our first text in what many refer to as “Third Isaiah.”  A central theme woven throughout this section is restoration.  For those displaced, this light is hope of a new dawn. Where are you feeling displaced?  May this Advent provide hope in the waiting.  […]

Search Me and Know My Heart: Advent Day 9

by Pastor Rob Smith

Psalm 139 My favorite of all Psalms.  God is inescapable.  In our best–our ascension to high places, and our worst–our farthest places from God, God is there.  “Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.”(12) In a tradition that reminds […]

Before, I Knew You: Advent Day 8

by Pastor Rob Smith

Jeremiah 1: 4-5 Jeremiah’s call shares that God is active and present in relationship.  And Jeremiah is present with God.  God’s presence is active from before birth. Think of the checklists we are building, and the experience we try to craft to try to make Christmas something magical.  As if grander will become grandeur. The […]

Waiting in Desert Places: Advent Day 6

by Pastor Rob Smith

Advent: Day 6 Isaiah 35: 1-10 Imagine, twenty-seven years in that prison cell.  Much of it in isolation.  May we always ask ourselves why?  Power can justify the worst in all of us.  Power and greed are interconnected and are very seductive.  The lines of justice and righteousness become blurred  for preservation of status-quo.  Apartheid […]

Feast For All: Day 5

by Pastor Rob Smith

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples         a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,         of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.     And he will destroy on this mountain         the shroud that is cast over all peoples, […]

A Little Child Shall Guide Them

by Pastor Rob Smith

Day 4 Advent Reading Isaiah 11: 1-3, 6-9 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,         and a branch shall grow out of his roots.     The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him,         the spirit of wisdom and understanding,         the spirit of counsel and might, […]