Devotional Blog - Advent 2014
Welcome to PVUMC’s 2014 Advent Blog:
“Expecting the Unexpected with Scripture and Song”
Daily throughout the Advent season, an inspiring devotional, written by Paradise Valley UMC members, pastors and staff will be posted on the PVUMC website. This year’s theme is “Expecting the Unexpected with Scripture and Song.” The devotions complement the church-wide Advent study based on the book, When God Comes Down by James Harnish, and our Advent sermons on the “Unexpected.”
We go through life generally knowing what will be happening tomorrow, and next week, and in the coming months. When abruptly the unexpected happens, we are shaken to our depths. What is it like when God abruptly interrupts our world? Our response might be like Zechariah, we was left speechless, or like Mary, who responded, “Let it be according to your will.”
Advent is the time to prepare our hearts to hear and receive the gift of God’s intimate relationship with each of us. As Thomas Merton states, “It is not we who choose to awaken ourselves, but God who chooses to awaken us…Our discovery of God is, in a way, God’s discovery of us. We cannot go to heaven to find Him…He comes down from heaven and finds us.”
Every devotional includes a daily scripture reading and a prayer. To receive daily posts, enter your name and email address in the form at the right. To read the devotionals on the blog, click on the post headline in the section below to read the devotional for the day (you may also want to bookmark this page for easy reference). We invite you to share these devotionals with your friends via tweets, email and on your Facebook page. Use the buttons on the left side of the page to easily share. We also invite you to leave comments, especially if there’s a question at the end of the blog post. We hope this will be a way to share our personal Advent experiences and invite others to do the same.
— Kim Summers
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! May God’s gift of joy overflow into your faith this day.
God, in reaching out to all of humanity, knew he had to become one of us to be able to show us a new way to live.
How can we notice and allow, even encourage Jesus’ continual appearances, as well as his surprise intrusions, into our lives? How might we empty ourselves, our schedules and spaces, to make more room, more inroads of our lives, for his presence?
God did not send an army to conquer the world; He sent a babe.
Instead of us yelling at God to show His face and get down here and do something amazing to fix things, it is God who is calling us to show our face and get up and do something amazing to love as God always has, is, and will continue to do so.
During this Advent season, as the world “waits to exhale” in expectation of the unexpected, let us slow ourselves down and just rest in the present moment.
Like the woman at the well, we don’t expect Jesus to ask us for a drink of water. Jesus offers us living water, an unexpected gift of grace for everyone, even the outcast.
John 1:9-14 (The Message) The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light. He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice. He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him. But whoever...
The people around me are exactly the right people I need in my life. God’s creation is whole and perfect.
When faced with the unplanned, leaning into God confidently and faithfully without question seems to build a connection with Him through the heart, mind, and soul which allows the strength to journey on flow more freely.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be “born again” to become a new creation, and inspire others to do the same.
Jars of Clay released the old hymn, “Love Came Down at Christmas,” as a new video in 2007. Read more about this hymn and watch the video as you reflect on the kind of love God has for all humankind.