Monday, December 2, 2013

First Week of Advent

Advent Blessings
So soon?  Wasn’t advent just last … 
But, no.  Here we are again, caught up in the imperatives of our living and yet looking at the craziness of cramming shopping, parties and family visits into a life that is too full.  Birthday!  There is no time for that this month.  Oh, that’s right.  The season is about a day of birth.
We invite you to take a breath and feel the peace that the Prince of Peace wants each of us to have in honor of his coming. Six times you will be blessed with an advent reflection that we hope you can enter into.  Let us journey together to Bethlehem.


Sunday, December 1, 2013, the First Sunday of Advent (Year A)
Scripture: Psalm 122:1­9
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
    “Let’s go to the LORD’s house!”
Now our feet are standing
    in your gates, Jerusalem!
Jerusalem is built like a city
    joined together in unity.
That is where the tribes go up—
    the LORD’s tribes!
It is the law for Israel
    to give thanks there to the LORD’s name,
    because the thrones of justice are there—
    the thrones of the house of David!
Pray that Jerusalem has peace:
    “Let those who love you have rest.
    Let there be peace on your walls;
    let there be rest on your fortifications.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
    I say, “Peace be with you, Jerusalem.”
For the sake of the LORD our God’s house
    I will pray for your good.

Now our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem!
There is something about place—particular places, really—that bring us closer to God. I love that this passage reminds us about the holiness of the City of God—a place of justice and love and peace and rest. As we enter into this season of Advent, we so often get caught up in the bustle of things and we get pulled away from the places where we feel God.

We so often find ourselves surrounded by stores and more things to buy—pulled away from the beauty of creation in this season of hope. And there IS hope in this season as we wait for the Christ who came once long ago and who will come again, bringing the good news that God loves us and all creation. I want to spend this time of hope in places that make me feel that God is near. So, I’m avoiding places that distract from looking for justice and love and peace and rest this year. I’m hiking around the foothills of Northern California to look down onto the city where I feel God and praying.

Peace be with you, Jerusalem.

God of hope and light and life… help us find peace in this bustling season. Help us find places of rest and help us love each other as we wait for the Promised One. Thank you for the places to which you’ve called us and help us find you there. In the name of the One for whom we wait, Amen.

 This week is presented by Rev. Abby Mohaupt.  She is the Pastoral Resident at First Presbyterian Church Palo Alto in Northern California. She loves running and spending time with her partner, Nathan, and their three cats.

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