By Wendy Taylor - Tuesday December 18, 2018
Hebrews 13:2 (NIV): 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. - Awaitng the arrival… It is the beginning of the holiday season and in my world, the beginning of preparing for guests. A number of years back, I realized a dear friend of mine, Shannon, possessed one of the most honorable and cherished spiritual gifts in my opinion…the gift of hospitality.
By Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr. - Monday December 17, 2018
“The Power of Preparation” - Please read Mark 1.1-8 - What is the Advent blessing that God has for us? News! It won’t come through Macy’s but through Mary. It won’t be encased in flashy gift wrap but in swaddling clothes. The gift was born in a manger, and now wants to be born in us. John suggests the blessing we need is the Christ Child. However, we’ve got to get ready for him. We must participate in our own blessing.
By Faith Solon - Saturday December 15, 2018
Divine Anticipation - Well before Thanksgiving, and even before Halloween, a local store had filled their display with Christmas decor. Every year, there seems to be a headlong rush into Christmas that plows right through Advent. This seems to be an all too familiar pattern. Why wait for Christmas when we can have it right now? After all we live in a world obsessed with instant gratification. But something is lost in a jump straight to Christmas.
By Frances Smith - Friday December 14, 2018
When it comes to the month of December, a lot of people think about what gifts they are going to buy people. Also others think about Santa Claus and the story of Rudolph. But really the month of December should be about Advent, which leads us up to Jesus’ birth. Advent comes from the latin word adventus which means, “coming” or preparing for something. In the Christian viewpoint, Mary and Joseph were waiting for Jesus’ coming into the world, in which we celebrate his birth on the 25th of December which is Christmas. An angel appeared to Mary and told her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
By Rev. Roger McKinney - Thursday December 13, 2018
Please read Exodus 2:1-9 - In Disciples Christian Church in Cleveland Heights we are using Desmond Tutu’s Children of God Storybook Bible as a guide for worship this year. The story from Exodus 2 of the beginning of the life of Moses came up in November. It is a remarkable story, not because it tells of the birth of Moses, but of the “Sheroes” who saved the life of this infant. The midwives of Israel refused to kill Hebrew baby boys at the command of King Pharaoh. The mother of Moses hid this baby that was under threat of execution. The sister of Moses (later named Miriam), watched the baby and dared to offer assistance. The princess, daughter of Pharaoh, was not fooled. She knew this was a Hebrew baby boy, and still saved him, even adopted him! Each of these was a shero!
By Rev. Jeff Gill - Wednesday December 12, 2018
Please read Titus 3:3-8 (NRSV) - That passage doesn't sound much like Christmas, does it? But it's one of just a few passages outside of the traditional Gospel accounts (Matthew 2, Luke 2) which describe the birth of Jesus. And if you've been present for the birth of a child, whether as a guest or the principal actor (God bless you all, mothers of the world), you might note that this passage of Scripture is a bit more on point than Luke or Matthew ever want to get. I know, these are Advent devotionals. We don't like messy. That's why we like Hallmark movies, where the messes are strategically placed and resolved by the last act, often cleaned up off-camera during the commercial break.
By Rev. Chad Delaney - Tuesday December 11, 2018
Psalm 130:5-6 - 5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning. - A few years ago, I was walking through the Dollar General with my kids and we heard this really fun Christmas song. The song was "The Twelve Days of Christmas”...but with a twist. It was sung by an all men's acapella group, had some funny lyric changes, and they finished it by incorporating Toto's famous 80's song, "Africa.” It was different but awesome. I wanted it for our family playlist.
By Gladys Davis - Monday December 10, 2018
And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." - Luke 3:10-11 - At this time of Advent, we are often our most generous. We give gifts to families and friends. More importantly, we give to those from whom we expect nothing in return. It is in this spirit that I want to share some of the great work that is happening right at our very own Camp Christian.
By Marybeth Corbett - Saturday December 8, 2018
As we enter into the season of waiting we call Advent, expecting that the Christ child will be born anew into our hearts and lives, let us give thanks. He will come once again as Emmanuel, God with us And while we are waiting we also, face the challenge of attending to the many tasks and traditions we try to fit into our crowded schedules thinking that Christmas just wouldn’t be complete without them.
By Rev. Audrey Connor - Friday December 7, 2018
“The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” ~ Jeremiah 33:14 - Advent is one of my favorite seasons in the church. To me, it is a time when we acknowledge our pain-denying culture and look for God doing new things even in the suffering of life. Advent is a time when we are encouraged to take off our blinders and look at this fleeting moment. This life that is with us right now that is precious, and perhaps, it is not here tomorrow. This is advent – a time when we admit the realities of today – of violence, death, and pain – and yet also claim it to be a time pregnant with new life.